Turkey: Still Indispensable

Most Turks agree that the country's shaky civilian rule depends on shrewd, wrinkled Premier Ismet Inonu, 78. Alone among professional politicians, he has the confidence of the nation's generals, who seized power in 1960 and who would not hesitate to take over again if Inonu's precarious civilian coalition collapsed. Last week a political crisis inside Inonu's own Republican People's Party almost forced the old man to quit, raising fresh fears of another military coup.

Inonu's troubles came from a group of rebels led by Kasim Gulek, 57, a fiery Republican who has...