Ex-Turkish Premier Ahmet Davutoglu quits ruling AK Party

Ex-Turkish Premier Ahmet Davutoglu quits ruling AK Party

Turkey's former PM Davutoglu resigns from ruling AK Party

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.

Davutoglu had already served notice of his intentions earlier this year when he criticised the AKP's trajectory, especially after a controversial decision to annul the results of Istanbul's mayoral election when it was won by the opposition.

The AKP's central executive committee last week made a decision 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.

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Most notable among the defectors has been ex-economy minister Ali Babacan, who this week told Turkish newspaper Karar that he would launch his own party by the end of the year.

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. The AKP's Disciplinary Board asked them for a verbal and written defense.

Ahmet Davutoglu - prime minister for almost two years, in 2014-2016 - was facing a hearing in the Justice and Development (AK) Party likely to result in his dismissal. In May 2016, Davutoğlu stepped down from both posts and was succeeded by Binali Yıldırım.

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In recent months, Davutoglu has accused the AK Party of deviating from its core principles, hitting out at the government's economic record and Erdogan himself.

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".

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