The following are translations of excerpts from the Turkish press.


Improving political relations between Turkey and Armenia have led to an increase in interest in Turkey by the Armenian diaspora.

Armenians living in the United States want to make investments in Turkey while many Armenian businesswomen have arrived in Istanbul to meet their Turkish counterparts.


Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticized the CHP's recent call for resistance and said that the opposition party should explain the matter. Erdogan also reiterated that CHP's call for "resistance" against the amendments that the government sought to implement in Turkey's judiciary system was an act of "banditry."


Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan said at the Davos summit that Turkey's economic priority is to maintain stability. "We envisage a reasonable growth rate of 4.5 percent for 2011. And that growth rate is higher than the figures in the European Union-member states," he said.

Babacan added that judicial reform would add momentum to inflow of foreign capital.


With continuing unrest in Egypt, President Barack Obama called Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to discuss ways of working together to prevent the Middle East from crisis.

"[Turkey and the U.S.] have agreed on the importance of meeting the legitimate democratic rights of the people in the region [of the Middle East]," read a statement issued by the Office of the Prime Minister on Sunday.

According to the statement, Obama and Erdoğan urged leaders of the region not to use force against their own people. "These incidents should not bring about deep and ingrained instability. [Turkey and the U.S.] have shared concerns that instability could cause detrimental consequences in the region," it said.

The statement said Obama made the phone call because he valued how Erdoğan, the winner of successive elections in successfully democratic Turkey, was evaluating the developments. The statement said the two leaders agreed to stay in close contact.

The short statement highlighted the similarities between the two nations' positions. The first point was that both Ankara and Washington saw peoples' revolts in the region as legitimate and that their democratic aspirations should be met. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, who is set to meet Hillary Clinton next week in Turkey, confirmed Turkey's position in a statement on Friday.


Five members of Turkey's main opposition party have quit the parliamentary constitutional commission in a revolt against the government's attempts to restructure the judiciary. The protest marks the first time in the country's political history a [parliamentary] deputy has resigned from the commission.

"The parliamentary constitutional commission is a specialized commission where laws are discussed. However, the ruling party has used its majority to silence the opposition parties, especially the CHP," said Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of the Republican People's Party (CHP), during his visit to the Black Sea coastal town of Ordu on Sunday. "What do they expect us to do? Sit back and watch as the AKP [Justice and Development Party] deputies pass laws?"

The move came during the commission's talks on a government-proposed law to increase the number of judges of the Supreme Court of Appeals and the Council of State, which the opposition argues would also allow the government to make political appointments to the supreme judiciary.

Five CHP members quit the commission over the weekend when the time allotted to their speeches at the meeting was limited to five minutes, stating that the commission "cannot operate until new members are selected." The AKP also reduced the number of amendments allowed per meeting to one.

The five-minute time limit was suggested by the AKP after talks on the first article in the draft lasted for five hours and served as the final straw for the CHP members, who then called party leader Kılıçdaroğlu for his approval. The CHP representatives resigned from the commission late Saturday, allowing the ruling party to swiftly pass the remaining articles. The meeting continued after the resignations, with only one member from the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), and no members from the opposition Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) in attendance.

In their written resignation, the party members cited "undemocratic practices … against the vows" taken upon membership as the main reason for the collective move.

A letter sent to parliament from the CHP group asked for a temporary halt to the commission's activities while the party selects new members. The ruling AKP, however, said the rules do not require the commission to stop operating in this situation.

MHP deputy Faruk Bal, speaking after the resignations, said that the meeting could not continue according to the commission's internal regulations, only to have his statement rejected by the AKP's Bekir Bozdağ, who said that the resignations were a "political show to prevent the commission from operating" and that the meeting would continue without the CHP members.

CHP Afyon deputy Halil Ünlütepe, in a press conference following his resignation from the commission, said that decisions made after the mass resignation should be annulled.

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