In Ankara on Wednesday (18 September) Mr. Necmettin Erbakan, leader of the Turkish National Salvation?
In Ankara on Wednesday (18 September) Mr. Necmettin Erbakan, leader of the Turkish National Salvation Party, strongly criticised Mr. Bulent Ecevit, the Turkish Prime Minister, who resigned earlier in the day. Mr. Ecevit's action ended the eight-month-old coalition between his Republican People's Party and the National Salvation Party (NSP).
Mr. Ecevit's resignation was precipitated by NSP members when they opposed his recent visit to Scandinavia. Differences between the two coalition parties increased in recent weeks, and Mr. Ecevit was censured by the NSP, who wanted him to take a stronger line over the Cyprus issue. Mr. Erbakan and his party believe the Turks should have continued fighting until they controlled the entire island.
At his Wednesday news conference, Mr. Erbakan announced plans for a possible coalition between the NSP and other traditionalist parties in the Turkish National Assembly. In the meantime, Mr. Ecevit has been asked by Turkish President Koruturk to form an interim Government until elections can be held, possibly by the end of the year.
Turkey has experienced five coalition Governments since March 1971, and faces fresh elections at a time when inflation has reached 25 per cent -- and that is before the cost of the Cyprus operation is fully known.