Former turkish prime minister ahmet davutoglu has resigned from president recep tayyip erdogan’s ruling AKP party. Davutoglu also announced the founding of a new party in ankara on friday.
It was both a "historical responsibility and a necessity" to "build a new political movement". He invited everyone "whose heart beats for the future of this country" to work together. Initially, there was no reaction from the party leadership. Further party resignations were announced this afternoon.
Davutoglu (60) was himself AKP leader from 2014 to 2016, but was partially ousted after disputes with erdogan and also resigned as prime minister in 2016. He had recently accused his party on several occasions of moving away from its basic principles.
Among other things, he had criticized the cancellation of the mayoral election in the million-strong metropolis of istanbul in march. The AKP had lost the election at that time. In the repeat election in june, which came about as a result of pressure from the government leadership, the opposition candidate ekrem imamoglu won a second time, causing the AKP a serious embarrassment.
On friday, davutoglu said the AKP leadership saw "every well-intentioned criticism and recommendation as betrayal and hostility," so there was no longer any possibility of implementing in the AK party the "principles and goals we advocate in our political life.".
Davutoglu held the press conference together with former AKP deputies selcuk ozdag, abdullah basci and ayhan sefer ustun, as well as former AKP politicians selim temurci and nedim yamali, who also left the AKP.
Later, more reports and tweets about party resignations emerged in turkish media and on twitter. According to the report, by friday afternoon at least five more members had left the AKP. Some of them had held high positions in the past, such as provincial chairmanship of the party.
Her decision came amid signs of disintegration in the country’s most powerful party. The media have been reporting for months that some people in the AKP are unhappy with president erdogan’s course.
In july, ex-vice-minister-president ali babacan had already resigned from the party, which he had co-founded. There were gaps between the principles he believed in and the party’s approach, babacan wrote in a letter quoted by the media. Babacan also reportedly wants to found a new party. It’s also about improving the country’s reputation, he wrote in july. "Human rights, freedoms, progressive democracy and the rule of law are our indispensable principles."
There are also rumors that ex-president abdullah gul has founded a splinter party or joined a new party. Gul is considered a party grandee, but according to experts and the AKP press office, he has not been an AKP member since he resigned in 2007 to become president, as was required at the time.
Erdogan has railed against internal opponents on several occasions. "The work of some people from inside (the party) is hard to swallow," he said, for example, at a party meeting in late april. "We will hold them accountable when the time comes"."For him, splinter parties could mean loss of power. AKP politicians accuse dissidents of running only to hurt erdogan’s chances in elections.
With friday’s press conference, ahmet davutoglu and other AKP members forestalled a party expulsion procedure that the AKP executive committee under erdogan’s leadership had unanimously decided on at the beginning of september.
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