The leader of Turkey's ruling party was designated prime minister Tuesday and given a mandate to form a government that will face renewed pressure to base U.S. troops for a possible Iraq war.
As expected, Abdullah Gul resigned as prime minister earlier in the day to make way for Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who won a seat in parliament in by-elections Sunday.
Erdogan said he would submit a Cabinet list to President Ahmet Necdet Sezer "as soon as possible."
The change of government comes as Washington presses Turkey to allow U.S. troops to use its territory as a staging point for an invasion of Iraq from the north.
In recent weeks, Erdogan has advocated allowing U.S. combat troops in and has hinted that he favored resubmitting a motion to parliament to give U.S. soldiers the go-ahead.
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )