Kurdish Embassy Attacks: 'Iron lady' pushes forward with reform: Bonn passes buck to regions as new Turkish PM hints at fresh initiatives on the ethnic problem

RAPIDLY moving to consolidate her power, Turkey's new Prime Minister, Tansu Ciller, yesterday unveiled a cabinet with many new names to implement the country's long-delayed agenda for privatisation and administrative reform.

Mrs Ciller also hinted at new initiatives on the ethnic Kurdish question, which exploded across Europe yesterday with dozens of Kurdish rebel attacks on Turkish embassies, banks and airlines in six countries.

Gone from the cabinet is the old guard of her conservative True Path Party, all long-time companions in arms of Suleyman Demirel, the former True Path leader who moved from the prime ministership to the presidency last month.

The True Path's coalition partner, the Social Democrats, kept their 11 ministries in the 31- seat cabinet unchanged. Erdal Inonu remained as Deputy Prime Minister and Hikmet Cetin as Foreign Minister.

'It's a radical cabinet, but the quality is not so sure. There are contradictory commentaries,' said Ertugrul Ozkok, editor of the national daily Hurriyet. 'It's a big challenge to Mr Demirel. Nearly all of the old guard has been fired.'

If Mr Demirel felt uncomfortable, he said nothing as he approved the cabinet list. Mrs Ciller appears to be risking all on the groundswell of national support that has greeted the arrival in power of the chic, rich, attractive woman who represents much that modern Turkey wants to be.

'The people really want Ciller to be successful. We don't know her very well yet, but she is very decisive. She is playing the iron lady,' said Mr Ozkok, who has been comparing Mrs Ciller's dashing style to that of the late President Turgut Ozal during his reformist years in the early 1980s.

Many criticise Mrs Ciller's ignorance of foreign and domestic policy. But she has appointed a strong and capable diplomat, Volkan Vural, to head an inner circle of advisers she says will be 'half her brain'.

Mrs Ciller also shows undoubted leadership. She won extraordinary powers to legislate her reform programme by decree in a lightning raid on parliament on Thursday, catching the opposition unprepared for a midnight vote. She has also managed to shift public opprobrium on to her main political rival, Mesut Yilmaz of the centre-right Motherland Party, when he torpedoed her attempt in parliament to permit banned private radios to restart broadcasting.

A coalition protocol signed on Thursday basically upheld the previous government programme of 1991, but with the emphasis on Mrs Ciller's priority of privatisation.

Mrs Ciller blames state enterprises that employ 550,000 of Turkey's 60 million people for 70 per cent of a projected budget deficit of 100 trillion lira (pounds 6.25bn), which is about 10 per cent of GNP.

'I don't look at this and take refuge in defeatist talk. I am brave . . . I have no time to lose. Turkey is at a critical point. We are at the wall. We either go over it or we are crushed,' she said.

After the flying start to her prime ministership she may yet trip up over the Kurdish insurgency. But even here, Mrs Ciller is giving hints of an Ozal-like vision different from the blood-and-iron military solution that the Turkish army has tried and failed with over nine years.

She has spoken of the possibility of Kurdish broadcasting, more civilian control of the security forces and even of debate about Kurdish education.

Suggested Topics
News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
football
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
News
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
Voices
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Sport
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
sport
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior Risk Manager - Banking - London - £650

£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...

Commercial Litigation Associate

Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...

Systems Manager - Dynamics AX

£65000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: The client is a...

Service Delivery Manager (Software Development, Testing)

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established software house ba...

Day In a Page

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little