The following are translations of excerpts from the Turkish press.

ISRAEL'S CONCERN: MORE POWERFUL ERDOGAN

Al-Jazeera TV comments on the results of [Turkish constitutional] referendum: PM Nethenyahu is worried about the results of referendum in Turkey and set an urgent meeting with the cabinet members.

According to Al-Jazeera, Nethenyahu said: [a] "more powerful Erdogan government will become more anti-Israel, this will be a danger in the region."

http://haber.gazetevatan.com/israilin-en-buyuk-endisesi/328935/1/Gundem

AKP DENIES BRITISH DAILY TELEGRAPH ARTICLE

AKP Vice Chairman and the Head of Foreign Relations Omer Celik said: "It is a complete lie that Iran donated US $25 million to AKP for the referendum campaign. We are waiting an apology from your editor in chief, because of this article."

The article was published in Daily Telegraph's September 14 edition.

http://haber.gazetevatan.com/ingiliz-gazetesinin-akpyi-kizdiran-iran-haberi/328857/1/Gundem

BRAINSTORMING IN WASHINGTON

Think tanks in Washington D.C., the White House, the departments of Defense and State and the National Intelligence Council, which have been discussing Turkey's foreign policy in detail, are trying to find answers to questions such as where Turkey is heading and is it a trustworthy partner regarding Israel and Iran?

One of the topics of enthusiasm about Turkey's politics was Republican People's Party [CHP] leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu. Whether the CHP makes a strong showing against Justice and Development Party [AKP] with its new leader has [also] been discussed.

http://en.cumhuriyet.com/?kn=551

DEMOCRATIC INITIATIVE 12, ERDOGAN 63

A [public opinion] survey carried out for the Hürriyet daily newspaper on the referendum indicated that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was more of a determinant for citizens living in the southeastern Anatolia region than [concern for] the Kurdish initiative.

The majority of people who voted in favor of constitutional amendments in the Southeast (63.3 percent) said they said "yes" to Erdoğan. Those who said: "The democratic initiative would be a beginning to a solution of the Kurdish issue" remained at 11.9 percent.

According to the survey, the Nationalist Movement Party [MHP] had the largest loss. Almost 29 percent of MHP voters cast "yes" votes in the referendum.

Another striking development was that almost five of every 100 CHP supporters voted "yes."

The AKP's loss at the ballot boxes was only 1.8 percent.

http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/gundem/15784126.asp?gid=373

TURKISH AND U.S. SENIOR DIPLOMATS DISCUSS MIDDLE-EAST PEACE PROCESS

Turkey's foreign minister and U.S. secretary of state discussed Middle East peace process over a phone call on Tuesday. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and briefed him on the recent developments regarding the Middle East peace process. Clinton and Davutoglu discussed the upcoming elections in Afghanistan and congratulated each other on the success of Turkish and U.S. basketball teams that played the FIBA 2010 World Championship final. The United States clinched the top title in the 2010 World Basketball Championship with a 81-64 win over Turkey [which hosted the games] in Sunday's final game in Istanbul. The Turkish team became the silver medalists.

Diplomatic sources said the phone talk was a continuation of one that took place between U.S. President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

On Sunday, Obama spoke to Erdogan by phone and said result of the referendum would further strengthen Turkish democracy.

http://www.aa.com.tr/tr/kategori-haberleri/3.html

TWO FACES OF EASTERN TURKEY

Three of nine Kurdistan Workers' Party [PKK] terrorists who died in a clash with soldiers in the southeastern province of Hakkari on Sept. 6 were buried in İdil in the southeastern province of Şırnak yesterday with a ceremony attended by 50,000 people.

Many people attended funeral ceremonies for PKK terrorists in Hakkari as well as in Silopi and Cizre in Şırnak. A dinner and a farewell ceremony were held for 600 youths, who left for their military service from Silopi yesterday. At least 10,000 people attended the ceremony. Brig. Gen. Atilla Şirin expressed his wish that soldiers would complete their military service without problems and return to their families.

http://www.radikal.com.tr/Radikal.aspx?aType=RadikalDetay&ArticleID=1019037&Date=15.09.2010&CategoryID=77

TURKEY COMMITTED TO ISRAEL-SYRIA PEACE, SAYS FOREIGN MINISTER

Turkey's foreign minister said Tuesday that Turkey would continue to do everything in its power for a lasting peace between Israel and Syria.

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said Turkey did not want violence or a blockade in its vicinity. "We will try to do everything we can for a permanent peace between Israel and Syria," Davutoğlu said during a dinner hosted at Istanbul's Çırağan Palace on the occasion of the World Leaders Symposium. Davutoğlu said Turkey supported political dialogue, mutual economic dependence, multiculturalism, co-existence and security in the region. Referring to protocols signed with Armenia, Davutoğlu said they would be implemented within the framework of a comprehensive peace in the Caucasus, which also included an Azerbaijan-Armenia peace.

Davutoğlu also touched on Iran in his speech, saying Turkey and the United States were of the same opinion regarding the Islamic republic. "We do not want any countries to possess nuclear weapons in our region, and we want a solution for Iran's nuclear problem through diplomacy," he said.

The foreign minister underlined the importance of Turkish-U.S. cooperation in the global and regional senses, and said working together could create a perfect synergy. Turkey's relations with the United States would contribute to world peace, and nobody should have concerns about U.S.-Turkish relations, Davutoğlu said.

http://www.aa.com.tr/tr/kategori-haberleri/2.html

ENVIABLE RECORD

The Turkish economy grew 10.3 percent in the second quarter whereas European economies had to contend with growth rates of roughly 1 percent.

In the April-June period the Turkish economy exceeded the 1 trillion Turkish Lira threshold.

Turkey and China became the fastest growing economies of the G-20, the league of developed nations. Turkey's growth rate was five times higher then that of the EU average. Per-capita income rose to $9,443. The economy grew at double-digit rates in two quarters in a row for the first time in a long time.

The construction sector grew at a record 21.9 percent in the period. Private sector investments rose 32 percent in Q2.

http://www.sabah.com.tr/Ekonomi/2010/09/15/simsekin_yilsonu_buyume_tahmini

SHAME AND PRIDE

The European Court of Human Rights found Turkey at fault and required it to pay compensation as it did not prevent the assassination of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink and did not properly conduct its [criminal] investigation.

By contrast, Millyet's correspondent Nedim Şener -- who is on trial facing 32 years imprisonment over a book he wrote about the negligence regarding the assassination of Dink -- was decorated with the World Press Freedom Hero award by the International Press Institute.

http://www.milliyet.com.tr/yasam-hakkini-ihlal-ettin-/guncel/haberdetay/15.09.2010/1289250/default.htm

HEAD OF RUSSIA'S TRANSNEFT SAYS SAMSUN-CEYHAN PIPELINE PROJECT HALTED

Nikolai Tokarev, head of Russia's state-owned pipeline corporation Transneft, has said the talks with Turkey on building the Samsun-Ceyhan oil link between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean in Turkey have stalled.

Tokarev said in an interview with Reuters that a rival project, the trans-Balkan pipeline now looked more attractive than the Samsun-Ceyhan pipeline.

"Of course, trans-Balkan pipeline is more suitable. We have accomplished many things in this project. We have made a feasibility study and we could have even started its construction this year," Tokarev was quoted as saying.

Tokarev said there were many questions about the project including the transport costs, adding that costs proposed by Turkey were higher than the transport fees through the Turkish straits.

Russian Premier Vladimir Putin, in his response to a question by a Turkish reporter last week, said they made a promise to the Turkish premier and would build the pipeline with Turkey.

The Turkish side takes Putin's remarks as definitive and Turkish officials say they are not informed about the allegations that talks over Samsun-Ceyhan oil pipeline between Turkey and Russia have stalled.

http://www.aa.com.tr/tr/samsun-ceyhanda-kafalari-karistirdi.html

TURKEY DEBATES MERITS OF US-STYLE PRESIDENTIAL SYSTEM

The multifaceted momentum triggered by Sunday's heady referendum victory has turned new attention to an old idea of Turkey's ruling party: a U.S.-style "presidential system" to replace the current European-style parliamentary mode of governance.

Just where American icons like "states' rights," "limited" central government and the supremacy of "local authority" will come in... those appear to be ideas for later.

At first brush, the afterglow of victory has apparently wetted Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's appetite for a different governmental architecture. The first president in the new system would, of course, be Erdoğan.

That possibility is anathema to the country's opposition parties.

"The presidential system, according to [the ruling party's] understanding, will bring an uncontrollable single-man administration. Judicial freedom will become even less protected," Atilla Kart, a member of the Constitutional Commission and a Konya representative of the main opposition Republican People's Party [CHP] told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review on Tuesday.

"That system will bring suspicious developments in the name of democracy," Kart said, adding that such a system would not be suitable for Turkey. "Encompassing a state system, it will also accelerate separation."

In April, Erdoğan suggested that "Turkey could adopt a presidential system" if the Turkish people extend their support to the ruling Justice and Development Party [AKP] in the 2011 general elections. Many believe a victory in 2011 would lead Erdoğan to change the Constitution and be voted in to a newly empowered presidency in 2012.

The prime minister reportedly gave Burhan Kuzu, the head of the AKP's Constitution Commission instructions on the matter of a new presidential system, but AKP deputy leader Ömer Çelik has said that "no concrete discussions will be held at the Central Executive Board today, or anywhere else, regarding a switch to the presidential system."

Debates on a new system are healthy for Turkey both politically and intellectually, Çelik said, though he also said they should not be turned into a "regime" issue. He added that the debate on creating a new constitution could last until after the elections.

"The presidential system could become a matter of debate if it matures in vastly different conditions, [but] Turkey's current conditions do not allow for this," CHP chief Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu told Fikret Bila of daily Milliyet. "The presidential system is not on Turkey's agenda. These types of changes cannot happen simply by saying, 'Hey, let's start.'"

Echoing Kart's concerns about separation, Nationalist Movement Party [MHP] group deputy chairman Mehmet Şandır said the presidential system could bring about separation and division within the country.

"Democracy should not have the power to change the parliamentary system, a part of the founding law of the Republic of Turkey," Şandır told the Daily News. "The presidential system lays the foundation for a state system. It is not right to be talking about this at a time when PKK [the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party] is becoming politicized and separatist politics are becoming law."

MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli is also known to oppose the idea of a presidential system for Turkey.

The idea of switching to a presidential system is something that could be debated, but should not be imposed by the AKP, Ayla Akat Ata, the group deputy chairman of the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party [BDP] told the Daily News. He said certain steps needed to be taken before such a switch could be made.

"Steps need to be taken to resolve the Kurdish issue, representation in Parliament needs to be strengthened and the 10 percent electoral threshold needs to change. This cannot be imposed, like the referendum [was]," Ata said.

A presidential or a semi-presidential system is in use in 38 countries worldwide. France provides perhaps the best example of a semi-presidential system: The country is a republic, and is headed by both the president and the prime minister, with the president having the final say. The United States, on the other hand, has been governed by a full presidential system since 1792.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=turkey-debates-8216presidential-system8217-2010-09-14

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