Challenging Erdogan, Turkish ex-PM launches new opposition party
search

Challenging Erdogan, Turkish ex-PM launches new opposition party

Ahmet Davutoglu, who was fired by president in 2016 over opposition to authoritarian reforms, files paper to form ‘Party of the Future’

Former Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (2ndR) holds a press conference at his office in Ankara on September 13, 2019, to announce that he will launch a new political movement in the latest challenge to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan from his former allies. (Adem Altan/AFP)
Former Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (2ndR) holds a press conference at his office in Ankara on September 13, 2019, to announce that he will launch a new political movement in the latest challenge to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan from his former allies. (Adem Altan/AFP)

ANKARA, Turkey — Former Turkish prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu, an ex-ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, filed the paperwork to launch a new party on Thursday.

A delegation of Davutoglu’s associates went to the interior ministry to request the formation of the new group, which is expected to be called “Party of the Future,” a source close to the former premier told AFP.

The 60-year-old was prime minister from 2014 to 2016 after serving as foreign minister during a difficult period in Turkey’s international relations.

He is due to present his party at a ceremony in Ankara on Friday.

Davutoglu was an academic before entering politics, and was the architect of Turkey’s more assertive stance across the Middle East in the early 2010s.

This combination of pictures shows Turkish Prime Minister and leader of Turkey’s ruling party, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) Ahmet Davutoglu (left) in Ankara on May 3, 2016 and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (right) delivering a speech in Ankara on February 24, 2016
(ADEM ALTAN / AFP)

He was a close ally of Erdogan from the time he took power in 2003, but the two men fell out over multiple issues, most notably constitutional changes that increased the powers of the presidency, and he was removed from office in 2016.

After a long period of silence, Davutoglu has increasingly voiced criticisms of Erdogan and finally left the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in September.

He is not the only former Erdogan ally to break ranks in recent months, with former economy minister Ali Babacan also announcing plans to set up a new party in the coming weeks.

Erdogan’s opponents hope the new formations will weaken the AKP, which already saw reverses in this year’s municipal elections, losing several key cities, including Istanbul and Ankara, in part due to weakening economic conditions.

read more:
comments