Ankara, 20 June 1997 (RFE/RL) -- The leader of Turkey's center-right Motherland Party, Mesut Yilmaz, announced today that he has been asked to form a new government by President Suleyman Demirel.
Yilmaz told a news conference in Ankara after meeting Demirel that he hoped to give the president his cabinet list by June 30. He said he planned to meet the leaders of all political parties, except for the leader of the pro-Islamic Welfare Party, Necmettin Erbakan, in an effort to win parliamentary support.
Erbakan was forced out as prime minister earlier this week by the country's military, which said his government endangered Turkey's secularist traditions. Erbakan's coalition partner, Tansu Ciller, was considered Yilmaz's strongest rival for the prime ministership. If named to form a new government, she had offered to include Erbakan in her coalition.