Bulent Ecevit, former Turkish Prime Minister, and a prominent politician for more than twenty years, resigned on thursday (30 October) as chairman of the country's oldest political group, the Republican People's Party (RPP).
GV Massed crowd at Bulent Ecevit's victory celebration in Istanbul, 1974
GV Mr Ecevit above crowd, releasing doves of peace (3 shots)
GV Crowds chanting, supporters with pictures of Mr. ???cevit (3 shots)
SV Mr Ecevit waving to crowd, catching dove then releasing it again.
GV Mr Ecevit entering Presidential Palace 1980
SV Prime Minister Suleyman Demirel being greeted by Acting President Ihsan Sabri Caglayangil and Mr Ecevit, all three sitting
SCU Mr Ecevit speaking to reporter in English
GV Mr Ecevit and Mr Demirel being flown by helicopter from Gallipoli army officers resort
GV Mr Ecevit arriving at home in military limousine, as supporters welcome him back
GV Mr Ecevit being greeted by supporter outside his home (3 shots)
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ. 7: ECEVIT: "For over four months, because of the obstacles presented by the party in power, the Parliament has not been able to elect the President of the Republic. The Parliament had almost lost all its functions. Under the circumstances we believe that the formation of a grand coalition, particularly between the two main parties, our party, the Republican People's Party, and the Justice Party, could provide the only way out of this crisis, but the Justice party, which as I said heads a minority government rejects this proposal."
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Background: Bulent Ecevit, former Turkish Prime Minister, and a prominent politician for more than twenty years, resigned on thursday (30 October) as chairman of the country's oldest political group, the Republican People's Party (RPP). Mr Ecevit's resignation was the first major political action since the military coup which ousted Suleyman Demirel's civilian government in September and suspended all political activity.
SYNOPSIS: Mr Ecevit became a national hero in 1974, when he ordered the invasion of Cyprus, six months after becoming Prime Minister. During the last ten years he had held office three times. But in spite of his obvious popularity, he lacked support to rule without compromising coalitions.
Son???of a professor, the 55-year-old former leader began his career as an English translator before turning to political journalism. In 1973 he became Prime Minister, but had great difficulty in forming his first government. After his final defeat in last October's election he handed the reigns to Mr Suleyman Demirel leader of the right-wing Justice Party. But it was the ineffectiveness of both men's minority governments that led to September's military take-over. In the face of rapidly growing political violence Mr Ecevit proposed last July a grand coalition between the two leading parties.
After the coup, both leaders were held in detention by the military junta for a month in an??? army officer's resort. When Mr Ecevit was released he was given a warm welcome by his followers.
He announced his resignation as Party leader voluntarily because of the military junta's recent announcement that it would restrict politicians from holding party office too long. Junta members have criticised past parliaments for being totally dominated by party leaders who could not agree on a policy. Mr Ecevit and Mr Demirel have between them dominated Turkish politics for ten years but with their minority governments could never effectively lead the country.