Balkans: March 10, 2003


Turkish sources report that Recep Tayyip Erdogan, elected to parliament March 9 in a special local election, will replace Prime Minister Abdullah Gul and form a new cabinet. Erdogan will kick out cabinet ministers opposed to allowing US ground troops into Turkey for the pending attack on Iraq. (For the record, Erdogan is now officially a parliamentary member from Siirt province -- which is right in the heart of the southeastern Kurd and Iraqi action.) US and Turkish sources both think it will take Erdogan at least a week to form a new government, which means it will take at least that long for him to arrange a new vote to permit the deployment of US troops.


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