In Turkey, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit has set up a coordination directorate, including senior military chiefs, to enforce martial law regulations in riot-torn areas of the country.
In Turkey, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit has set up a coordination directorate, including senior military chiefs, to enforce martial law regulations in riot-torn areas of the country. The move came on Thursday (28 December) after Mr. Ecevit had earlier declared martial law in thirteen of the country's sixty seven provinces where riots between political rightwingers and leftists had left more than a hundred people dead.
SYNOPSIS: On Wednesday (27 December) the tightest security measures were being enforced in the Southeastern city of Kahramanmaras. Troops in large numbers carried out searches of civilians on the streets...the scene of the bloodiest violence during the recent unrest.
Armoured vehicles now patrol the streets of Turkey's main cities at the end of a year which has seen a death toll in political violence grow month by month to more than eight hundred.
As Prime Minister Ecevit's martial law regulations came into effect Turkey's main opposition party accused the government of deliberately provoking violence between left and right wing groups to ensure it stayed in power.
Despite Mr. Ecevit setting up the special directorate to enforce martial law, the opposition pressed ahead on Thursday (28 December) with a censure motion against the Social Democrat government. In its censure motion, which observers said amounted to a demand for a vote of no confidence, the Justice Party of former Premier Suleyman Demirel alleged the government intentionally let the violence get out of hand before declaring martial law.
The army also had the task of transporting and assisting the newly homeless in Kahramanmaras. it was the violence of a few days before in this city that Mr. Ecevit cited as the main reason for bringing in the martial law regulations.
The special directorate, which is headed by Mr. Ecevit, appears to have set initially a low profile for security forces in Ankara. Informed sources in the city say Mr. Ecevit is keen to be seen in charge of the country. The directorate intends meeting every day to assess how martial law is being implemented.