Turkey's Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit announced on Thursday (16 October) that his twenty-one month old social democratic government would resign following his party's heavy losses in last week-end's elections.
Entrance to building, housing office of Prime Minister
SCU Premier Bulent Ecevit seated with his Cabinet Ministers (4 shots)
SV Ecevit, other Ministers, PAN others at table (4 shots)
SV Cabinet Ministers PAN TO other Ministers listening to Mr. Ecevit speaking in Turkish
SV Mr. Ecevit speaking in English
GV Ankara street with armed guards (3 shots)
SV Opposition building with Insignia above door PULL BACK TO GV
SV Opposition leader Suleyman Demeril taking seat while photographers take pictures (2 shots)
SCU Mr. Demeril speaks in English about by-election results
ECEVIT: "We have discussed the new situation, after the partial elections on the fourteenth of October in Turkey, and the consequence of it for the People's Republican Party. And we reached the conclusion that the government, headed by the Republican People's Party, has now lost the support of the majority in the Turkish National Assembly. The election results and the reflection of these results, on the composition of the National Assembly, make it necessary that the government change should take place."
DEMIREL: "The present situation, must be the interpretation of the present situation. All people say that this government should go, should go without hesitation...should go without waiting. They are not able to run this country. That is the interpretation of the election."
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Background: Turkey's Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit announced on Thursday (16 October) that his twenty-one month old social democratic government would resign following his party's heavy losses in last week-end's elections. Neither Mr. Ecevit, nor his main rival, right-wing Justice Party leader Suleyman Demirel, were thought likely to be able to form a new government after this mid-term election, without the backing of two far-right groups.
SYNOPSIS: A late-night meeting of Mr. Ecevit's cabinet was called to decide how to react following the defeat at the polls.
The twenty-one month old, left-of-centre government of Prime Minister Ecevit lost not only all five lower house seats, but also 33 of the 50 senate seats being contested. Mr. Ecevit emerged from the three-hour meeting to tell reporters that his decision to resign was agreed to unanimously by the Cabinet.
Daily political violence and economic problems were thought to be influential in the election result. The right-wing Justice Party led by Mr. Demirel won all of the five seats in the by-election. He also lacks an overall majority, and he is reported to favour a government headed by an independent until general elections can be held.