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Monday, 15 July, 2002, 11:17 GMT 12:17 UK
Turkey: Should elections be held?
The Turkish Government is close to collapsing, after two more senior members offered their resignations.
Foreign Minister, Ismail Cem, stood down on Thursday morning. Economy Minister Kemal Dervis also submitted his resignation but later withdrew it at the request of beleaguered Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit.
A total of eight ministers have now walked out since the start of the week and more than 35 MPs have also quit Mr Ecevit's Democratic Left Party (DSP) in protest at his refusal to step down.
The crisis is now threatening to have a serious impact on Turkey's bid for EU membership and economic reforms.
There is also concern in Washington that instability in its key regional ally could seriously affect US interests in several areas of the world.
Should Bulent Ecevit step down? Is it time for elections to be held? What effect do you think these resignations will have on Turkey's political landscape? Could there be wider repercussions beyond Turkey's borders?
This Talking Point has now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.
I think it is time to be hopeful and voice our opinions louder than ever. The resignations of the foreign minister and finance minister today mark the beginning of a new political movement at the centre of the spectrum. This time, I hope, I will have a party to vote for and a reason other than preventing the hardliners coming into power.
I strongly believe that the early election is inevitable. It is the only way forward for economical and social revival. Let's be honest, almost every one knows that World economy is in recession. But as for Turkish economy, it is in crisis rather then in recession. There is a huge difference between recession and crisis. Therefore, measurements that need to be taken must be crisis oriented.
So, the solution is simple; have an early election and form a credible government asap.
Ali Riza Arican, Thailand
At this point in time, elections are inevitable. Without the support of parliament, an Ecevit-led government will not survive.
I think that Mr Ecevit should step down. The poor man has had enough and cannot help the country any more.
It is about time Turkey had a proper democratically elected party and let the people think for once.
Utku Gursoy, Turkey
Unless Kemal Dervis steps in and forms a new party, I do not see an end to Turkey's tragic situation. Any election without new politicians will simply mean old wine in a new bottle and we are literally sick and tired of all the existing ones.
Since the beginning of our existence we haven't been able to establish a democratic political system and until the early 20th century we were governed by a sultan. I think that we should first change our servile mentality before changing our political system, and then try to enter into the EU.
I'm very pleased with other comments here! But people are forgetting to mention that the government needs to address the fact that doctors will not help or operate on their own people when needed, unless they have money to pay for it. This is unacceptable and needs to be changed. The government needs to shape up!
Turkey is 20 years behind the rest of Europe. It needs to make peace with its past, accept its Muslim and Middle Eastern culture and stop pretending to be western.
I am very happy about the resignations of deputy PM Husametin Ozkan and the other deputies of the DSP. To be honest, I don't think that the resignations were a result of the deep economic crisis and the great failure of the government. However, we need a new democratic government which will value the needs and desires of the Turkish nation, not the IMF, EU, US or other foreign political powers.
Anil Polat, USA
Mr Ecevit has harmed the Turkish economy by not quitting the PM job. Now the Turkish people will pay the price.
This situation exposes a great weakness of the parliamentary system of government. There is of course no right answer, and therein lies the problem. The very necessity for an election let alone the date for it becomes a political issue when it shouldn't be. In a federal republic, the government serves for a fixed length of time after which there are new elections on a definite date.
At this current moment in time the Turkish nation is facing a great challenge. Elections might bring about a change in government but it is doubtful whether or not this change will be the one the country really needs. I think the resignations are a clear sign that the current political system in Turkey is collapsing bit by bit. The challenge involves the courage of the Turkish people to bring about a change that will lead the country into the world it so desperately seeks to join.
Everybody has been so quick to bash Ecevit without realising that he alone was able to hold together a coalition from three different spectrums of Turkish political life for over four years.
Ege Aral, Turkey
The Turkish state needs to make peace with its people after years of injustice, corruption and anti-democratic practices which have forced people into poverty and politicians into a game of shame and blame.
This is a crucial moment for Turkey and it is now time it removed itself from its past and joined the fold of states in the European Union. Democracy and respect for human rights by the government of Turkey will breed economic and political stability to this significant player in regional and global politics.
Is it time for early elections? No, there cannot be a worse time. The economy was just about to come out of recession and I think this will delay recovery. Also the reforms that need to be made for Turkey to enter the EU will be delayed which means we are going to miss the EU train again. I think Turkey needs new and dynamic leaders which seems impossible because of our political system.
This will add a little spice to the most boring and lengthy soap opera called
'Turkish politics'. Unfortunately it means that the Turkish people have to pay for this dearly as usual.
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