Warships of the United States Sixth Fleet sailed into Istanbul's Dolmabahce Harbour on Monday (October 16), for the first time in three years.
Warships of the United States Sixth Fleet sailed into Istanbul's Dolmabahce Harbour on Monday (October 16), for the first time in three years. The vessels, the 60,000 ton super-aircraft carrier, U.S.S. Forestal and its escort destroyer, Richard L. Page were on a routine visit. The American ships anchored in waters of the Bosphorous now often used by the soviet Navy.
Three years ago, when American ships last visited istanbul, three people were killed in fighting between right-wing groups and students protesting against the American visit and Turkish membership of the North atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). This time american crewmen went ashore without incident.
The return of the American vessels comes at another critical time for the Turkish Government.
The country is again in a state of crisis over the position of the Coalition Government. The Prime Minister, Mr. Ferit Melen, has already warded off one threat to the survival of his Government, but its continued existence depends on a vote of confidence in parliament this week.
There are fears that unless sufficient support for Mr. Melen is clearly demonstrated the military may intervene. The most populated areas of Turkey, and many of the large cities, have been under martial law since april last year. Three-man patrols of military police are everyday sights in the streets of Istanbul and Ankara.
SYNOPSIS: The first United States warships to visit Istanbul since the violent anti-American riots in nine-teen-sixty-nine anchored in Dolabahce Harbour on Monday. The 60,000-ton aircraft carrier, U.S.S. Forestal and its escort destroyer U.S.S. Richard L. Page, are part of the United States Sixth Fleet on a routine visit to the turkish capital. When American warships previously visited Istanbul, three students died in clashes between right wing groups and students. The demonstrators were protesting against American Imperialism and Turkish membership of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.
This visit is overshadowed by more trouble in Turkey. The Coalition Government faces a confidence vote in Parliament and there are fears that if insufficient support is shown the Army might become involved. But despite previous anti-American feeling crewmen from these American ships went ashore without incident.