Turkey’s ruling AK Party to discharge former PM Davutoğlu, associated figures

Published 02.09.2019 21:57
Updated 02.09.2019 22:07
Former PM Davutoğlu
Former PM Davutoğlu

Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party)'s central committee referred on Monday former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, former AK Party lawmakers Ayhan Sefer Üstün, Selçuk Özdağ and Abdullah Başçı to the disciplinary committee to be discharged from the party.

Former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, who resigned from party leadership in May 2016 after a growing rift with the party organization, issued an open criticism in the wake of the March 31 local elections.

The other three former lawmakers are allegedly in close contact with the former premier, who is also rumored to have been preparing to launch a splinter movement.

Attempts to form a new political party would do nothing except help the AK Party consolidate its voter base and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gain more political strength, early analyses suggested.

Another splinter faction seems to be led by former Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan.

Babacan was in charge of the economy and was also one of the founders of the AK Party. He made his intention to form a new political party more explicit following the March 31 local elections. In his letter resigning from the AK Party published Monday, Babacan said there had been serious divergences between the principles he believes in and the AK Party's policies in recent years, adding that the country has "a new, dynamic generation that has different expectations."

"In the current conditions we are going through, Turkey needs a new vision for the future. Our country needs the right analyses, strategies and plans in every field," he said in the letter.

He also stressed that new political formations that have emerged with the new executive presidential system should be carefully analyzed. The People's Alliance, formed by the AK Party and the MHP, gained 51.6 percent of the votes and won more than 700 municipalities in the March 31 local polls. However, the alliance lost in the three biggest cities – Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir – to its opponent, the Nation's Alliance, which was formed by the Republican People's Party (CHP) and the İP.

Last week, talking about the preparations of Babacan and former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu to form new political parties, Erdoğan pointed out that splinter movements from the ruling AK Party had not been successful in the past. Turkish politics has often witnessed the forming of new political parties that fail to attract supporters or leave a mark on politics.

The failure of newly formed parties are numerous. For instance, Emine Ülker Tarhan founded a new party named the Anatolia Party in 2014 after she resigned from the CHP. Tarhan's discourse was to "raise Turkey to its feet with the Anatolia Party." However, the party only survived a year.

Another example is former Deputy Prime Minister Abdullatif Şener, a former AK Party politician, who announced the establishment of a political party in 2009 called the Turkey Party (Türkiye Partisi). Şener closed his party shortly after its founding in 2012 due to its failure to establish its political goals. An additional example is former Foreign Minister İsmail Cem, who resigned from the Democratic Left Party (DSP) in 2002 and formed the New Turkey Party (YTP), which was closed after failing in its first elections.

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