Turkey's Interior Minster, Irfan Ozaydinli has resigned in the wake of the riots in late December, which claimed one hundred lives in the south eastern city of Kahraman Maras.
SCU Ecevit PAN TO military chiefs at table
SV ecevit answering phone PAN TO military chiefs
SV Ecevit speaking at news conference
ECEVIT: "Today we have held a meeting with the martial law commanders coming to Ankara from the provinces in which martial law is in effect. We have discussed within the framework of the objectives and reasons of the martial law. We have discussed the measures the general lines of the measures, which ought to be taken, the rules and principles under which the martial law will function; the way in which basic rights and freedoms will be protected against assaults and we have also discussed the possibility that some of the militant groups may shift their actions to provinces outside martial law areas. We have also discussed the possibility of establishing a balance of forces between provinces in which martial law is applied and is not applied and it has been a very useful, a most useful meeting."
In his New Year's message to the nation, Mr Ecevit pledged that Turkey would continue on a democratic path despite the imposition of martial law. Speaking on national radio and television, Mr. Ecevit said that although Turkey was going through a difficult period, the nation would soon have peace again. Mr. Ecevit is expected to face a vote of censure in parliament soon for his failure to take tougher measures to ban political violence, early in 1978. The Opposition parties have been calling for tougher martial law regulations. An estimated eight hundred people died in political violence in Turkey during 1978.
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Background: Turkey's Interior Minster, Irfan Ozaydinli has resigned in the wake of the riots in late December, which claimed one hundred lives in the south eastern city of Kahraman Maras. Mr Ozaydinli who was in charge of all police and paramilitary forces was sharply criticised by conservative and opposition parties in parliament for his handling of the clashes between the Sunni and Shi'ite moslem sects. Reuters says Mr Ozaydinli's resignation was expected and is unlikely to cause a political crisis for Prime Minster, Bulen Ecevit.
SYNOPSIS: Meanwhile Mr Ecevit has been meeting with his military chiefs to discuss the effectiveness of marital law in thirteen of Turkey's sixty-seven provinces. Under marital law, military commanders are allowed to make arrests and search homes without a warrant; censor the media and ban strikes and political rallies.