The Premier-designate of Turkey, Mr. Naim Talu, introduced the 24 members of his new coalition?
The Premier-designate of Turkey, Mr. Naim Talu, introduced the 24 members of his new coalition cabinet in Ankara on Monday (16 April).
The new cabinet brings together ministers from both major parties -- the conservative Justice Party and the republican People's Party -- effectively creating a unified government to run the country until general elections set for October 14.
The new government replaces that of former Premier Ferit Melen. The 11-month-old administration has been shunted aside as it lost the full backing of the army, which has virtually controlled Turkey since a mini-coup in March, 1971.
The government then was headed by Justice Party leader, Mr. Suleyman Demirel. He was toppled when the army demanded the imposition of martial law and a widespread programme of reform to remove causes of political unrest.
Now, Premier Melen appears to have been removed because of failure to institute reforms.
Mr. Talu, 54, was designated to form the new government by Turkey's new President Fahri Koruturk. The election of the 70-year-old Koruturk, a former admiral, scored a major victory for the Turkish Parliament. The army had wanted General Faruk Gurler as President, but Parliament balked. After a 24-day election deadlock, Admiral Koruturk, supported by the major parties, was elected.
The election was approved by the army, but pressure was on the new President since he had to find a Premier acceptable to both the army and Parliament.
Even now, the new government will be expected by the army to institute the reforms it demanded two years ago and which it has demanded of successive coalition governments since.
The new government is expected to start moving towards full democracy, including the lifting of martial law (still imposed on seven key states), and the electoral and constitutional reforms wanted by the army.
SYNOPSIS: A smiling Mr. Naim Talu, premier-designate of Turkey, introduced his new cabinet on Monday.
The twenty-four man coalition held its first cabinet meeting as it prepared to govern Turkey until general elections in October. The new cabinet completes clean sweep with a new President, the newly-elected Mr. Talu and his chosen government.
The new government replaces that of former Premier Ferit Melen.
Soon after the introductions, the new cabinet accompanied the Premier-designate to the Ataturk Mausoleum, where Mr. Talu was to lay a wreath at the grave and monument of Mustafa Kemel Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey.
Mr. Talu's new administration faces the formidable task of instituting reforms demanded by the army for the past two years. Successive coalitions have not succeeded in instituting reforms the army demanded in March 1971 when it toppled the government of Mr. Suleyman Demirel. Mr. Talu was appointed by the new President, Mr. Fahri Koruturk, who, backed by Turkey's major parties, defeated the army-sponsored candidate for the top post.