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Majority of Turks against switch to presidential system

According to the “Social and Political Trends in Turkey” survey, which was conducted by Kadir Has University across 26 provinces in the country, 65.8 percent of respondents said they favor keeping the parliamentary system in Turkey in the new constitution. Only 21.2 percent of the 1,000 respondents said they support switching to a presidential system, while 4.4 percent said they favor a semi-presidential system. When asked about their views regarding who should be president if Turkey were to adopt a presidential system, 34.3 percent said they would like to see the current prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, as president. He was followed by Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu with 12 percent and incumbent President Abdullah Gül with 10 percent. The adoption of a presidential system has been a common point of debate in Turkey, with Prime Minister Erdoğan, who supports a presidential system, frequently bringing the issue to the public's attention over the past year. Many speculate that Erdoğan hopes to become Turkey's first president under a new presidential system in the 2014 elections as he is unable to run as prime minister again due to his Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) self-dictated rules, which do not allow deputies to run for more than three consecutive times.

The survey, which was carried out between Dec. 26, 2012, and Jan. 16, 2013, also questioned Turks' views about the most effective way to resolve Turkey's long-standing terrorism problem due to the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Half of the respondents of the survey said the country should resort to military means in order to resolve the terrorism problem, compared to the 31.6 percent of people who agreed with this in 2010.

Only 26.1 percent of the respondents said the country should use political means to rid the country of PKK terrorism.

When asked whether the state should speak to any of the parties involved in the terrorism problem, 55.5 percent said the state should not speak to anyone or any party concerning the issue. This figure was 51.8 percent in 2011.

The government is currently sponsoring peace talks with jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan in order to settle the PKK problem and disarm the terrorist group.

When asked what they believe to be the biggest problem in the country, most of the respondents highlighted unemployment and terrorism.

Turkey's military, which frequently emerges as the most trustworthy state institution, was again chosen as number one. A total of 17.9 percent of the respondents of the survey said they think the Turkish military is the most trustworthy state institution, followed by the President's Office at 13.5 percent, and the Office of the Prime Ministry at 14.7 percent.

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