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Turkey Forms Coalition Government

The governmental crisis that has plagued Turkey for a month appeared to end Monday when Prime Minister Tansu Ciller won President Suleyman Demirel’s approval for a coalition government.

The government, with Ciller’s center-right True Path and a social democratic party, will serve until Dec. 24, when the country votes in general elections. A vote of confidence, expected to be won easily, will be held by Parliament on Sunday.

The next two months are crucial for Turkey, since the country expects to start stepped-up trade relations with the European Union as an initial step toward full membership.

The past month has been a difficult time for Turkey’s first woman leader since Deniz Baykal, the leader of the social democrat Republican Peoples Party, withdrew his party from the previous coalition government in a dispute over austerity measures.

Ciller tried to hang onto power with a minority government but failed to win a parliamentary vote of confidence earlier this month.

Baykal offered to renew a partnership with Ciller just when Ciller was preparing to step aside to allow Demirel to name another party leader to form a government.

The president’s gesture came in an attempt to prevent the formation of a government that included the Welfare Party, which favors an Islamic state in secular Turkey.


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