Ex-Turkish Premier Ahmet Davutoglu quits ruling AK Party


A former Turkish prime minister on Friday announced he was parting ways with the ruling party.

Ahmet Davutoglu — prime minister for nearly two years, in 2014-2016 — was facing a hearing in the Justice and Development (AK) Party likely to result in his dismissal.

Davutoglu and three other former lawmakers were referred to the party’s disciplinary board on Sept 2.

Speaking to reporters in the capital Ankara, Davutoglu said that “consultation channels” in the party are closed, claiming that it had “no possibility of transformation.”

Davutoglu, also a former foreign minister, said the party’s longtime principles and goals are being stymied, and there is no room for even “well-intentioned criticism and advice.”

Alluding to rumors he might be part of a new party, Davutoglu added: “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.”

Davutoglu had voiced similar sentiments in a 22-page statement he released this April.

After serving as current President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s foreign policy advisor from 2003 to 2009, Davutoglu was foreign minister in 2009-2014 before becoming AK Party chairman and prime minister.

In May 2016, Davutoglu stepped down from both posts and was succeeded by Binali Yildirim, Turkey’s last prime minster before the position was eliminated in constitutional reforms.

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