Ciller cobbles up another coalition

Ankara (Reuters) - The Turkish Prime Minister, Tansu Ciller, moved towards patching together a temporary coalition government with her former social democratic partners yesterday in an attempt to stay in power until early elections.

"We have arrived at a certain agreement in principle on forming a coalition," she said after meeting the Republican People's Party (RPP) leader, Deniz Baykal. Ms Ciller later met President Suleyman Demirel for 40 minutes, but it was unclear if he had given his approval for her proposed government. Mr Demirel was to meet other party leaders last night.

On Sunday the Prime Minister lost a vote of confidence in her 10-day- old minority government, which she had put together after the collapse of her coalition. Thirteen of her True Path Party deputies opposed her.

The resignation of Istanbul's hardline police chief, Necdet Menzir, opened the door for a reconciliation between the Prime Minister and the RPP. Her refusal to sack Mr Menzir, who had publicly criticised the party's human rights minister, brought down the four-year-old coalition on 20 September.

Istanbul shares jumped by 8.5 points after Ms Ciller announced her plan. Markets had started nervously following Sunday's vote.