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Erdogan and Davutoglu push foward meeting amidst rising tensions

Turkey’s president has taken the unusual step of moving up his weekly meeting with the prime minister by a day. The two were set to meet on Wednesday instead of Thursday, as rumors of increasing discord mounted.

Erdogan has sought a more American-style executive presidency in Turkey since taking up the largely ceremonial role as head of state in 2014.

In that vein, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) recently took away Davutgolu's power to appoint provincial party leaders. The move to undermine the prime minister's authority has caused even more serious rumors in Ankara, including that Davutoglu is contemplating resignation.

The struggle between the two men has even affected the economy, fuelling worries about the stability of Turkish markets. The country's XU100 share index hit its lowest levels since March on Tuesday, and was only treading water mid-way through Wednesday's trading.

When Erdogan switched to the presidency in August 2014 due to term limits, many assumed that Davutoglu would act a puppet premier on the president's behalf. The one-time foreign minister has endeavored, however, to make his own mark and thereby earned the ire of his former ally.

"I don't fear the discord that some try to sow or what some write, I fear only God," said Davutoglu, indirectly addressing the tension between him and the president at a party meeting on Tuesday. While he has refused to criticize Erdogan in public, he has stated that he believes there to be no need for the kind of presidential system the head of state wants to implement.

es/msh (AFP, Reuters)

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