World Bulletin / News Desk
Newspapers on Thursday dedicated their front-page headlines to Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin's remarks regarding a referendum on a presidential system of governance in lieu of the current parliamentary democracy.
"Referendum" was VATAN's headline, citing Kalin as saying on Wednesday: "We will consider the election results and decide [on a presidential system] after consultations with our nation."
Discussions about the presidential system have been put on hold in Turkey since June when the Justice and Development (AK) Party lost the majority needed to govern the country on its own.
The results of the Nov. 1 general election, in which the AK Party won 317 seats in the 550-member Turkish parliament, have brought the issue back front and center.
Although it regained its parliamentary majority in Sunday’s election, the AK Party appears to be 13 seats short of the number (330) needed to push through a referendum on constitutional reform.
HURRIYET ran with the headline "We will ask the nation", quoting Kalin. According to the daily, Kalin said that the issue of the presidential system was not related to any individual, and that the question was how to make Turkey’s ruling system more functional.
"It is not a calculation related to the president’s own future. He [President Recep Tayyip Erdogan] does not have such a concern," Kalin said.
Erdogan has been pushing for a new presidential system "where legislative and executive powers are independently active in the presence of democratic checks and balances", he said.
However, a constitutional amendment or a new constitution would be needed to establish such an executive presidential system.
Turkey’s current constitution was drafted two years after a military takeover in 1980 and numerous amendments have been made since then.
In other news, Turkish papers also covered the security operations against the PKK in the southeastern Hakkari province Wednesday.
"15 terrorists killed, 2 soldiers martyred," said SABAH, reporting that the at least 15 terrorists had been neutralized while two soldiers were killed in the clashes with the armed group in the Daglica district.
YENI SAFAK said Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu ordered for operations against the PKK to continue during winter.
Speaking during a security meeting in the capital Ankara, Davutoglu reportedly said "the operations will not slow down even during winter," according to the paper.
The Turkish army began its air-and-ground operations against the PKK terrorist organization inside Turkey and in northern Iraq in late July, as the PKK renewed its armed campaign against the Turkish state following a two-and-a-half year cease-fire.
The PKK is considered a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and the EU.Last Mod: 05 Kasım 2015, 12:15