Bulent Ecevit, veteran Turkish politician, suffers brain hemorrhage
(AFP) - Veteran politician Bulent Ecevit, a five-time prime minister of Turkey, has suffered a brain hemorrhage and is in intensive care after a four-and-a-half-hour operation, media reports said.
Ecevit, 81, felt unwell after returning home Thursday night from the funeral of slain Council of State judge Mustafa YГѓВјcel Гѓzbilgin, killed Wednesday by a Muslim fundamentalist gunman in an attack on the country's top administrative court, reports Trend.
The one-time leader of the Turkish left was taken to the GATA military hospital near Ankara, where he underwent surgery that began shortly after midnight.
He was then put into an induced coma and is in critical condition, the all-news channel said.
Zeki Sezer, chairman of the small Democratic Left Party (DSP) of which Ecevit is the honorary chairman, told reporters outside the hospital that doctors said the operation was successful.
"We are more hopeful now," than when Ecevit was brought in, Sezer said.
Along with his political arch-rival, the conservative Suleyman Demirel, Ecevit, as chairman of the Republican People's Party, dominated the Turkish political scene for nearly four decades.
He was in power during the 1974 invasion of Cyprus, and again in 1999 when Turkey's most wanted man, Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan was arrested in Kenya.
He was swept from power in the November 2002 elections that brought the current Islamist-rooted Justice and Development Party government to government.
Ecevit, who started his career as a journalist, is also a well-known poet.
He is married with no children.