• Short Summary

    The Prime Minister of Turkey, Mr. Bulent Ecevit, says his country won't suffer a revolution?

  • Description

    SV Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit speaking in English in Ankara.

    SV Newsmen making notes.

    SV Ecevit speaking.

    CU Newsman writing.

    SV Ecevit continues speaking.

    ECEVIT: "Turkey has been very careful to abstain from any act that might be interpreted as a desire to influence the developments in Iran. This is a basic tenet of our external policy and we have always believed that any outside influence in the internal affairs of Iran would create problems, not only for Iran, but for the whole region. We also believe that the continued unity and integrity of Iran is of vital importance for the region. Our good wishes are with the Iranian people and Government in their endeavours to solve their problems, to establish stability, and preserve the unity of the nation and the country. We have stated our readiness to extend any support or co-operation within our means that the Iranian government may expect of Turkey in their efforts to deal with their immediate economic problems. We hope that close economic and technical co-operation may be established between the two friendly and neighbouring countries. The event in Iran, in one major respect, at least, was a popular movement in the way of greater democracy and freedom, whereas in Turkey, democracy already exists and those who are against the regime but for much less democracy. This is one of the major differences. Secondly, secularism is deeply rooted in Turkey and the people are very free regarding their religions and the problems of the possibility of a return to a religious state is out of the question -- it does not exist in Turkey. There are such, and other basic differences. Although there's been unrest in both countries, the similarities, if any, are rather superficial. Security measures against terrorism are becoming increasingly efficient. The March clashes, which were the basic reason for the declaration of martial law in some provinces, have not been repeated since. It shows that the martial law has already been successful in that sense. It has been...the martial law has been applied in full conformity with the rule of law and with democracy. The people are satisfied with the way which it is applied -- only those circles that may have expected a biased attitude, or deviation from the rules of law and democracy, seem to be disappointed."

    Initials JS

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: The Prime Minister of Turkey, Mr. Bulent Ecevit, says his country won't suffer a revolution similar to that recently experienced in Iran. In a news conference in Ankara on thursday (8 March), Mr. Ecevit said the upheaval in Iran was an effort to create greater freedom and democracy. These, he said, already existed in Turkey. The Prime Minister also said the new government in Iran had his full support.

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