Ex-Turkish Premier Ahmet Davutoğlu quits ruling AKP
Former Prime Minister and then-chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Ahmet Davutoglu resigned his party on Sept. 13 after the AKP had launched disciplinary action against him and three other dissidents.
“Referring the chair, deputy chairmen, deputies and provincial leaders who have led the resistance of the 15 July night to the discipline with the demand of expulsion is a very grave decision which does not coincide with the founding principles of the AK Party, and with our democratic experiences and political traditions,” Davutoglu said, speaking at a press conference where he declared his resignation.
Six other AKP members also declared their resignation along with Davutoglu.
Elaborating on his recent criticisms of the AKP’s policies, Davutoglu said: “We aimed to invite the current AKP administration, which departs from its founding principles and political mission, to make an accounting.”
All “consultation channels” within the in the party are closed, and there was no room left for “well-intentioned criticism and advice” in the party, he stated.
“Our intention and goal is not to disagree, divide and weaken; our aim was to put forward the possibilities of renewing our party within the framework of founding principles as an interpreter for the discomfort seen in our party cadres and grassroots,” he stated.
The AKP’s central executive committee last week decided to take action to expel Davutoglu, along with former MPs Selçuk Özdağ, Ayhan Sefer Üstün and Abdullah Başcı on the grounds that they acted in contradiction to the AKP’s rules of procedure. The AKP’s Disciplinary Board asked them for a verbal and written defense. The move of their resignation came before the deadline of the disciplinary defense period.
After serving as current President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s foreign policy advisor from 2003 to 2009, Davutoglu was foreign minister in 2009-2014 before becoming AKP chair and prime minister. In May 2016, Davutoğlu stepped down from both posts and was succeeded by Binali Yıldırım.
Davutoğlu has recently been critical of the AKP’s policies and of the alliance between the AKP and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
Asked about the possibility of forming a new party, Davutoglu said, “From now on, it is both a historical responsibility and a requirement of our obligation to our nation to start a new political movement and set off on a new path in line with the basic principles we mentioned.”