In Turkey, Republic Day was celebrated on Monday (29 October) with the traditional military parade -- but in an atmosphere of political uncertainty.
SV ZOOM INTO MCU War veterans marching
CU General Necdet Urug (First Army Commander) taking salute
SV Veterans pulling barrow with two 'injured' veterans
MV Soldiers in traditional dress marching and singing
SV Two soldiers on roof PAN DOWN TO naval contingent marching (2 shots)
RV General Urug taking salute
MV Air Force contingent marching
CU Spectators with flags
SV ZOOM INTO CU Army contingent marching
SV General Urug and Governor Orhan Erbug saluting
MV ZOOM INTO CU Soldiers marching
CU Gunner driving past in troop carrier
CU General Urgu PAN TO Governor Erbug
SV & MV Tanks drive past (2 shots)
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Background: In Turkey, Republic Day was celebrated on Monday (29 October) with the traditional military parade -- but in an atmosphere of political uncertainty. The right-wing Turkish leader, Suleyman Demirel, has agreed to form a new government following Mr. Ecevit's resignation. But the task is proving difficult and has given rise to speculation among Turks and diplomats that the army may be preparing to intervene.
SYNOPSIS: Turkey was declared a Republic 56 years ago and many of the veterans leading the parade on Monday (29 October) would have remembered the event. The salute was taken by first Army Commander General, Necdet Urug.
The army plays an important part in Turkish life. Nineteen of the country's sixty-seven provinces are currently under martial law in an attempt to end political and sectarian rioting, but political violence has continued. Now the political vacuum has given rise to fears that the army may intervene. The officers have left their barracks twice in the last twenty years -- in both cases as a last resort and in both instances they voluntarily handed back power to the civilians. There are fears the political system may not be strong enough to cope with the country's sectarian and economic problems.
Numerically, Turkey has the largest force of any NATO member. There are more than a half a million men in the army alone and their share of the defence budget is proportionately larger than anywhere else in Europe. Since the recent events in neighbouring Iran, Turkey has become even more important strategically. But Turkey's allies are worried that when they most need regional stability, Turkish democracy has seemed weak.
An arms deal believed to be worth 30 million (U.S.) dollars has been agreed to between Turkey and the United States. The agreement involves American aid to Turkish Rocket and Shipbuilding industries in return for the use of Turkish Intelligence Bases near the Soviet border, but greater co-operation between the two countries is likely to depend on political developments within Turkey.