• Short Summary

    INTRODUCTION: The former Prime Minister of Turkey, Mr.

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    SV Bulent Ecevit and wife at their Ankara home PAN TO newsmen. 0.14
    SCU Ecevit speaking in English. (SOUND ENGLISH) ECEVIT: (SEQ. 2): "Naturally I respect the decision of the courts of justice. However, I must say that I am not going to prison with a guilty conscience. I consider myself as having done a duty. We must get used to paying a price for our freedoms and I consider that four months is a modest price for freedom. The most important thing is for a person to be free within his own mind. So I am carrying the freedom in my mind to the prison. I would be in prison as a free man rather than a prisoner outside. This is a matter of choice and I wish to God that he will always give me the strength to make this choice. Thank you." 1.09
    GV TILT DOWN Supporters outside house cheering and chanting ZOOM IN TO Ecevit. (2 SHOTS) 1.47
    SV PAN Newsmen and crowds waiting outside prison. 1.55
    SV Car carrying Ecevit arriving at prison. 2.00
    SV Crowds and newsmen surround Ecevit as he enters prison. 2.26

    InitialsJS Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: INTRODUCTION: The former Prime Minister of Turkey, Mr. Bulent Ecevit, began a four-month jail sentence in Ankara on Thursday (3 December). The 50-year-old politician was sentenced after he defied a government decree which forbids political statements criticising the country's military rule. In October Mr. Ecevit told foreign reporters that he disapproved of the type of political system being prepared for Turkey.

    SYNOPSIS: Three-times Prime Minister of the country in the 1970s, Mr. Ecevit approached his coming imprisonment calmly. He invited newsmen into his Ankara home before leaving for jail.

    Outside, about 200 supporters themselves risked arrest to show their support for the former leader of the new-banned Republican People's Party. The gathering was believed to be the first public demonstration for a political figure since the military takeover in September last year.

    Mr. Ecevit was almost lost in the crush as his supporters thrust bouquets of carnations at him.

    More sympathisers joined newsmen outside the Ankara Central Civilian Prison to await his arrival. After a brief formal committal hearing at the capital's Palais de Justice, Mr. Ecevit was driven to the jail.

    Again, the former Turkish leader was surrounded by newsmen and well-wishers as he arrived to begin his sentence. His imprisonment is likely to greatly embarrass the military government of General Kenan Evren, whose relations with Western European countries are already strained. Turkey is heavily dependent upon those states for aid and they have threatened to end such help if Turkey is not returned to democratic rule.

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