Opposition leaders call resignation decision a ‘coup’
“Davutoğlu’s resignation should not be perceived as an internal party issue; all democracy supporters must resist this palace coup,” Kılıçdaroğlu said at a news conference at his Republican People’s Party (CHP) headquarters in Ankara.
Earlier in the day, PM Davutoğlu announced that he would step aside following a rift inside the party. The resignation came one day after he held a meeting with Erdoğan at the presidential palace.
“Mr. Davutoğlu came to the prime ministry seat as a result of the nation’s will but he was forced to leave it due to the will, not of the 23.5 million people who voted for him, but of one person,” he said, calling his rival successful for winning two elections: one on June 7, 2015, which failed to produce a government, and the following one on Nov. 1, in which the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) swept almost half the country’s votes.
Selahattin Demirtaş, the co-chair of Kurdish-problem focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), had similar criticism.
“It is seen that even 99.9 percent homage is not enough for the palace,” he said.
“The people have elected you and the person at the palace wants to decide on who will rule this country. This is called a coup,” Demirtaş said.
“What did Davutoğlu say [before]? ‘It is the people to decide who will run the country.’ Come on and repeat it. Is it the people who elect or the one at the palace?” he asked.
Naci Bostancı, the vice-chair of the AKP’s parliament group, explained that the unusual turn of events was no reason for panic. “We can understand the excitement in politics deriving from an extraordinary congress decision at the ruling party. However, this is not the first time a party has made such a decision,” he said adding that “those who expect instability or crisis out of this will be disappointed.
Meanwhile, Sezgin Tanrıkulu, a CHP deputy and a former deputy leader of the party, reacted to his leader’s sympathy for Davutoğlu.
“It is our duty to express our blessing for [Davutoğlu],” Kılıçdaroğlu had said.
“You found a place in history for so much death in your short term of prime ministry,” Tanrıkulu said in a tweet.
“You have left behind hundreds of people who will not extend their blessings to you,” he added.