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Turkey: Coalition Allies Agree On New Government

Ankara, 18 June 1997 (RFE/RL) -- Turkish Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan has concluded talks with his coalition partner Tansu Ciller, apparently clearing the way for Ciller's asumption of the post of prime minister.

Erbakan told reporters in Ankara a short while ago that he and Ciller had reached agreement on forming a new government. He provided n-o other details but confirmed he would go see President Suleyman Demirel later this afternoon to explain the deal. Correspondents expect Erbakan to hand in his resignation in favor of Ciller.

Ciller has long been demanding that Erbakan cede the premiership. She says this will be the only way to save the current coalition between her conservative True Path party and Erbakan's Islamist Welfare Party.

The Welfare Party has come under increasing attack from the powerful military and others who see it as a threat to the Turkish republic's secular tradition.