Pressures by Moslem fundamentalists in Turkey to persuade the state to severe ties with Israel have received a boost following a visit by Arab and Islamic ambassadors to Ankara.
GV AND SV Arab and Islamic envoys arrive at Prime Minister's office in Ankara (2 shots)
SV Turkish Prime Minister Suleyman Demirel shaking hands with envoys
GV Delegates and Mr. Demirel leave conference room at the end of talks (2 shots)
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Background: Pressures by Moslem fundamentalists in Turkey to persuade the state to severe ties with Israel have received a boost following a visit by Arab and Islamic ambassadors to Ankara. The Turkish Government has recently made efforts to appease fundamentalists following internal clashes between Sunni and Shi'ite Moslems.
SYNOPSIS: The delegation, led by the Moroccan ambassador Ahmed Benaboud had come to ask that more solid and effective measures be taken by Turkey against the State of Israel. The meeting coincided with internal pressures by Turkey's own fundamentalist Moslems in the Nationalist Salvation Party, asking the Government to severe relations with Israel and condemning the country's foreign relations with that state.
The party was met by Suleyman Demirel, the Turkish Prime Minister who has recently made significant moves to appease Moslem fundamentalists in his country, by opening the famous Aya Sofya mosque for prayers. It has been closed for the past 45 years since Turkey became a secular state.
Turkey's government is worried by the resurgence of fundamentalism over its border in Iran. Although the majority of Turks are Sunni Moslems, there is a significant Alevi (Shi'ite) population in the country. The Alevis are mostly leftists and recent clashes in the northern town of Corum have been attributed to the political instability between the different sects. The whole situation has placed a great burden on Prime Minister Demirel. While Turkey relies on the West for financial support for its shaky economy, the Prime Minister relies on the National Salvation Party for his seat in Government.