Turkey's ruling AKP to live on for many centuries: FM Davutoğlu
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu regrets that the talks about the presidential elections have started too soon after the local elections. AA photoThe ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is not just a political party but is also a “great historical movement” that it will “continue to exist through the centuries,” Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has said.
“There are efforts to create an impression that the AK Party is polarizing society and is fueling tension. Just imagine if the AK Party did not exist in this country. For God’s sake, there could never be such a period. The AK Party will continue to exist through institutionalization through the next 10 years and even through the centuries,” Davutoğlu said at a party meeting in his hometown, Konya, on April 21.
“It is not only a political party movement but also a great historical movement. [This movement] is today embodied as the AK Party. In the past, it was embodied in various forms,” he added, citing the Seljuk and Ottoman empires. “This march will not be stopped or prevented for eternity.”
“Turkey’s destiny and the AKP’s destiny are parallel. They are in direct interaction,” he added.
Davutoğlu’s assertive statements coincide with recent scenarios that have counted him as being among potential future prime ministers in the event that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is elected as president.
The foreign minister said last year’s Gezi Park demonstrations and Dec. 17 corruption probes targeted the future of the country by targeting members of the AKP cadres, particularly Prime Minister Erdoğan.
However, the message that the people conveyed to the AKP in the March 30 local elections was that they were “aware of the plots against the government and did what they had to do on the Election Day,” he added.
“They also said, ‘Keep the political line that you have followed so far. Do not allow any changes to the backbone of the AKP.’ This message has been received,” Davutoğlu said.
Indirect criticism of President Gül
Citing the importance of the “institutionalization” of the AKP in order to avoid the “internal clashes” that its adversaries are looking for, Davutoğlu described ongoing debates about who would replace Erdoğan as the prime minister as “sly tactics” to undermine the AKP’s future.
“Don’t even think about it. These [AKP] cadres hit the road for sacrifices, not for official posts and seats. Those who want to see a process where the AKP cadres clash and weaken their relations in pursuit of posts or seats will wait a long time. It will never be allowed. The recent consultations launched by our prime minister are an indication of this,” he said.
In his remarks, Foreign Minister Davutoğlu also indirectly criticized President Abdullah Gül for launching premature debates on the upcoming presidential elections.
“Some have started debates on the presidential elections unnecessarily ahead of time. They have opened a new struggle by launching this presidential debate without allowing the people to be delighted and to digest the March 30 polls,” he said.
Prime Minister Erdoğan is also set to visit Konya this weekend, a trip that Davutoğlu described as a “reflection of the prime minister’s political will.”