Turkey's three right-wing parties agreed today to form a coalition government that bodes ill for a Cyprus peace settlement and improved relations with the United States.
Fiery Necmettin Erbakan, whose National Salvation Party holds the balance of power in the Turkish National Assembly, sealed his agreement to cooperate with Premier-designate Suleiman Demirel with a cheek-to-cheek kiss.
He then told reporters: "Should the Greeks and Greek Cypriots continue their present irreconcilable stand, the Turkish Cypriots will have the right to declare an independent state."
The Turkish Cypriots moved in 1975 to set up their own state in the 38 per cent of Cyprus siezed by the Turkish army in 1974 following an attempt to unite the island with Greece.
They have proposed a similar Greek Cypriot state on the rest of the island, with the two then forming a federation under a joint central government.
The Greek Cypriots, who make up 80 per cent of the population of Cyprus, have agreed to a federation but with the Turks controlling less land than they now occupy and with a central government dominated by Greek Cypriots.
Erbakan's Salvation Party opposes relinquishing any territory on Cyprus.
The United States has made resumption of military aid to Turkey, severed after the Turkish invasion conditional on progress toward a peace settlement. The Turks in turn, have made reopening of American bases in Turkey, closed in retaliation to the U.S. arms cutoff, conditional on resumption of military aid.
Both the U.S. arms embargo and the shutdown of the American bases have led to fears that the strategic southeastern flank of NATO has been weakened.
There has been no movement on Cyprus peace talks since the general elections were called in Turkey.
Former Prime Minister Demirel, whose conservative Justice Party took second place in the June 5 election, was asked to form a government after the leftist Republcian people's Party - which topped the poll but fell 12 seats short of a majority - failed to muster enough parliamentary support.
Republican People's Party leader Bulent Ecevit, who is acting as caretaker premier, campaigned on a promise to restore law and order, introduce social justice and repair Turkey's damaged international relations.
His attempt to form a minority government was defeated in a vote of confidence July 3.
Demirel, who has served three times as premier, was then asked to form a government by President Fahri Koruturk.
Demirel's proposed coalition would link the Justice Party, Erbakan's Salvationists and the neo-Fascit National Action Party. Among them, the three parties have a four-seat majority.
In the two years before the election, the three were part of a shaky coalition racked by disagreement that resulted in failure to curb political violence, in which more than 200 people died, and to halt the country's economic decline.
Observers see little chance that the three will do any better in the future, despite their present show of solidarity.
On the day Demirel was asked to form a government, two bombs exploded in Istanbul, there was a political motivated bank robbery and a Halil, Tunc, president of Turkey's the street.
trade unionist was gunned down in largest labor movement, has said he would call a general strike the day Demirel's government takes office.
Demirel said he would present his Cabinet list to President Koruturk, Wednesday. The Justice Party, which has 189 seats in Parliament, will have 16 ministries: the Salvation party with 24 seats, will have eight ministries and the Action Party, with 16 seats will have five.
Demirel is expected to outline his government's program to the National Assembly next week.