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Turkish ex-PM Davutoglu quits Erdogan's party

September 13, 2019

Turkish former-Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has resigned from the ruling AKP party, saying he will start a "new political movement." He had already been under threat of dismissal.

Ahmet Davutoglu
Image: DW/H. Köylü

Turkey's former-Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Friday announced he would resign from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), saying it had moved away from its "founding values."

Davutoglu, who was prime minister and AKP chair between 2014 and 2016, said it was a "historical responsibility" to build a "new political movement and embark on a new path."

He said he was no longer possible to work under the current "clique" that controls the party, which he said called any criticism from within the ranks "treason."

His resignation seems to have preempted an appearance before a disciplinary board for his expulsion from the party.

Read more: LGBT+ in Turkey's prisons: A double punishment  

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Erdogan has seen several former allies defect in recent timesImage: picture-alliance/AP Photo/Presidential Press Service

Growing defections

Davutoglu is the second key AKP figure to have recently resigned. Former-Deputy Prime Minister and Economy Minister Ali Babacan left the party in July. Babacan has also announced plans for a new party.

Three other AKP members who were also apparently slated for dismissal accompanied Davutoglu in his Friday resignation. They are Selcuk Ozdag, Abdullah Basci and Ayhan Sefer Ustun.

Divisions within the AKP have grown in recent months, with a number of members disconcerted by a crackdown on Erdogan's political opponents since a failed coup in 2016.

Davutoglu himself has recently been critical of the path the party has taken, particularly after it decided to annul the results of Istanbul's mayoral election after it was won by the opposition.

The move backfired, as the opposition went on to win the rerun of the vote by an even wider margin.

Read more: In Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan's power begins to crumble

tj/sms (AP, AFP, dpa)

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