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Thursday, March 18, 1999 Published at 03:17 GMT

World: Europe

Turkish parliament debating fate of government

The Turkish parliament is due to hold a preliminary debate later today on an opposition move to bring down the minority government of the Prime Minister, Bulent Ecevit, and delay next month's general election.

The initiative is being led by a group of deputies who've been deselected by their parties.

They've been joined by supporters of the pro-Islamic Virtue Party, who want the repeal of laws banning their leaders from politics.

Correspondents say today's vote will show if the alliance has enough strength to force a final censure vote next week.

Mr Ecevit said Turkey would be plunged into crisis if the election did not go ahead on 18th April as planned.

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