Turkey PM Hopeful for Pres. System

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) -- Turkey's prime minister says he hopes his government can achieve constitutional reforms to usher in a presidential system with the support of the nationalist party.

Binali Yildirim's comments on Friday came a day after he discussed with Devlet Bahceli, leader of the Nationalist Movement Party, or MHP, plans for a presidential system that would give President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's largely ceremonial presidency executive powers.

Until now opposition parties had opposed a presidential system, saying that would allow Erdogan to rule unchecked. But Bahceli said on Twitter late Thursday that Yildirim's proposals were "positive and reasonable."

Yildirim said: "God willing with the MHP we will change the constitution and accomplish a presidential system."

Party officials have said parliament could debate reforms early next year and hold a referendum on the issue in April.