A pattern of mounting violence continues in Turkey as the country prepares for general elections on Sunday (4 June).
A pattern of mounting violence continues in Turkey as the country prepares for general elections on Sunday (4 June). Political violence is now the central issue as the major parties hold their final rallies.
Synopsis: In Istanbul, supporters of Prime Minister Suleyman Demirel's Justice Party held a mass rally to demonstrate their faith in him and the Party. Candidates of most of the parties are decrying the blood-shed and blaming each other for it. All parties have campaigned on the theme that they are the ones who can stop the violence and restore order.
Sunday's poll has been brought forward by four months, largely because the governing coalition in parliament is too divided to take effective action on violence or on the country's crucial economic problems. At least 110 people died in political clashes in the first five months of this year. Most of them were students killed as the nation's universities turned into an extremists' battleground, and higher education has come to a near stop. Thirty-eight students died in one huge Mary Day rally alone, which turned into a battle.
The latest polls indicate that Mr. Demirel's party may lose the election to former premier Mr. Bulent Ecevit's Republican People's Party. Meanwhile, massive security is being planned to allow the election to take place, and it's reported that the army may be called in.