AS IT HAPPENED: Davutoğlu-AKP board tensions rose step-by-step
AFP photoThe tensions between Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and his party reached a peak when the 50-seat Central Decision and Executive Board (MKYK) of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) ruled to remove his authority to appoint provincial officials on April 29.
According to the AKP’s internal regulations, the right to appoint local party heads originally belonged to the MKYK. However, that right was later given to Erdoğan in 2002 - only a year after the party was founded.
Davutoğlu was frustrated with the fact that some 47 members of the board collected signatures to strip the authority from him.
The reports said one of the signees was Binali Yıldırım, the country’s transportation minister, who is close to Erdoğan and was mentioned as a potential candidate against Davutoğlu at the last AKP congress in September 2015.
The April 29 move came after rumors that Davutoğlu did not consider recommendations from the Presidency in recent appointment decisions.
“If necessary I would turn down any position that many may think a mortal could not leave,” Davutoğlu said in an address to his party deputies on March 3, adding to speculation that he was ready to leave his position due to a challenge to his leadership from the founding leader of the party, Erdoğan.
The parliamentary group meeting was followed by a meeting of the extraordinary Central Executive Board (MYK) the lower body of the ruling AKP. It was the MYK’s shortest-ever meeting, lasting just around 50 minutes.
The regular “State Day” meeting between Erdoğan and Davutoğlu generally takes place on Thursdays, but this time it was moved forward to the evening of May 4, a Wednesday. Erdoğan said, “You should not forget how you got your post,” in remarks before the meeting.
“There is no difference between a village head who could not win the hearts of the people in his village or neighborhood and a president who could not win the support of his people,” Erdoğan said in Ankara, addressing a group of neighborhood heads (muhtars).
Presidential palace sources said after the meeting late on March 4 that no statement would be made but Prime Ministry sources said Davutoğlu would step down.
Before announcing his decision, Davutoğlu entered another MYK meeting.
A tough negotiator and strategic thinker, Davutoğlu has been a key government player since Erdoğan first came to power as prime minister in 2003.
The former advisor to Erdoğan during his Prime Ministry was promoted to foreign minister in 2009.
He was picked as ruling party leader and prime minister when Erdogan was elected president in August 2014.