Retired Adm. Bulent Ulusu, chief of the Turkish Navy until last month, has been named prime minister and instructed to form a new government, the ruling National Security Council announced today.
Ulusu, 56, was part of the military leadership that ousted civilian prime minister Suleyman Demirel nine days ago. He is expected to serve as an extension of the council headed by Gen. Kenan Evren, which will continue to wield absolute power behind the scenes.
A slight man described by colleagues, as a political and a "middle-of-the-road soldier with a lot of common sense and pragmatism," Ulusu is expected to announce his Cabinet within 24 hours. Most of the members are believed to have been chosen by Evren, who was forced to abandon his original plan to install a civilian prime minister when the military could not agree on a suitable candidate.
Efforts to form the new government, following Evren's pledge in a press conference Wednesday that it would be announced "this week," had been slowed by the military's preoccupation with security and by a crackdown on right- and left-wing terrorism that had brought Turkey close to civil war.
Ulusu's Cabinet is expected to be a mixture of senior civil servants and retired military officers. None of Turkey's leading politicians are expected to be named. The Army-backed government has abolished the constitution and parliament, banned political parties and sent the civilian political leadership into internal exile.
Reportedly, however, Demirel's chief economic adviser, Turgut Ozal, will be named deputy prime minister in charge of economic policy. The military chiefs hope that the appointment of Ozal, who is widely respected in the West, will reassure Western governments and financial institutions who provided substantial financial and moral support to the Demirel government.
The Cabinet also reportedly will include top Turkish ambassador Ilter Turkmen as foreign minister and a retired general, Selahattin Cetinel, as interior minister.
News services reported these other developments:
The National Security Council has widened the existing provisions of the state of emergency to include censorship, the seizure or closing of publications and the monitoring of private mail. The military also plans to impose stiffer antiterrorist laws.
The measures were contained in a draft bill that has been pending in parliament before it was dissolved in Evren's Sept. 12 takeover.
Prolonged feuding between Demirel and his predecessor, Bulent Ecevit, prevented the two leaders from working together to halt daily political and sectarian bloodshed in Turkey. The violence -- which claimed more than 1,700 lives and added to Turkey's staggering 100 percent inflation rate, 20 percent unemployment, and widespread strikes -- provided the impetus for the bloodless coup by the military.
The military rulers since have rounded up thousands of political dissidents, extremists and politicians.
One of the most visible signs of the military's antiviolence campaign was the sudden urgency given to trials of suspected terrorists.
A military prosecutor in the Aegean Sea city of Izmir, a key NATO base, yesterday demanded the death penalty for three left-wing terrorists accused of robbing a bank and killing a coffee shop waiter who tried to stop the robbery.
Political observers said the summary trials were likely to mushroom shortly with military prosecutors across the country preparing to bring charges against many of those arrested after the coup.
In addition to Demirel and Ecevit, at least 60 members of the dissolved parliament are detained. The military has said the politicians are in "protective custody", not making clear whether they also will face charges.
The independent daily newspaper Milliyet reported today that in the week before the coup, 99 people were killed in extremist incidents. In the subsequent week, only four deaths were reported.