In Turkey, areas affected by political violence in recent days (December 23 and 24) were reported to be quiet following the declaration of martial law in 13 of the country's 67 provinces.
In Turkey, areas affected by political violence in recent days (December 23 and 24) were reported to be quiet following the declaration of martial law in 13 of the country's 67 provinces. The incidents are the latest in feuding between factions of the left and right which so far this year has resulted in more than 600 deaths.
SYNOPSIS: The worst of the violence took place in the southeastern city of Kahramanmaras. A shop bearing the symbol of the National Movement Party is closed but untouched, while others were attacked and burned. It is reported that here more than 100 people died and many made homeless during the unrest. Ankara Radio said food and blankets were being distributed to those whose homes among the 210 dwellings wrecked.
A large military force in the city has stemmed the violence which started when extreme rightists tried to disrupt the funeral on Friday (22 December) of two leftist schoolteachers killed in earlier incidents. Smoke still rose from burnt buildings but the city was calm by Tuesday (26 December). Reuters news agency reports that the people of Turkey have seen much violence in a year which began with the coming to power of Mr Bulent Ecevit's leftist minority Social Democratic government. Reuters says members of the government have repeatedly hinted that legitimate political groups are behind much of the rightists-inspired violence which has brought retaliation from left-wing groups. Now law and order is again the responsibility of the army.
Some of the army's work has been to transport and assist the newly homeless. Reuters reports that the main test of the martial law declaration is how well the armed forces function under Mr Ecevit, who said that martial law would be implemented in a way which would be implemented in a way which would protect fundamental rights and freedoms.
In Istanbul normal activities continue in an atmosphere of lively political activity, with wall posters and slogans arguing conflicting views throughout the city. Some of them claim the government has become a dictatorship following the declaration of martial law. For many Turks the news of the declaration recalled memories of the period from 1971 to 1973 when the armed forces ousted Mr Suleyman Demirel's government and replaced it with a series of neutral premiers who ran the country with military backing.
The leader of the main opposition Justice Party, former Prime Minister Mr Demirel, said Mr Ecevit's government is guilty of treason. Mr Ecevit said the violence was openly directed against Turkey's democratic system and threatened national security.