THE RUMOR MILL about the formation of the new party to be led by former prime minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and former Turkish president Abdullah Gul is still in overdrive.
The latest update on the rumored party is that the two have failed to reach an agreement on who should be the leader. The two were once senior party leaders of the AK Party, with Davutoğlu being a founding member.
The latest leader to chip in with regard to the party formation is former deputy Prime Minister and CHP deputy, Abdullatif Sener, also an AKP founding member.
“How long can they stand against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s stick or how far away can they stand away from his carrot, I cannot measure exactly,” Sener said.
The other candidate set to be in negotiations with Davutoğlu and Gul is Ali Babacan.
Now the rumor mill has it Davutoğlu does not want Gul to be the leader of the new party, a position Gul was eyeing.
In an interview with a Turkish TV channel, Halk TV, Sener said he knows Gul, Davutoglu and former finance minister, Babacan are engaged in a joint work that resembles preparations for forming a new party, but whether these efforts will end in the birth of a new party, he is not convinced.
“I am not sure these activities will turn into the founding of a party. Because they were very reserved from the beginning. I am not sure they have the courage to come out and stand up against Erdogan. I think like this because of the lack of any initiative so far which leads to pessimism. But there’s no such thing as impossible. It [forming of the new party] can definitely happen.”
Sener added: “These may be a preparation for the presidential elections. It is strategically correct to exert efforts for the parliamentary and presidential elections by bypassing local elections.”
“But what kind of formation will emerge, what courage they will exhibit, what decisions and attitudes will they exhibit, and will they give up with a sign of Erdogan? I’m not sure of any of this,” asked a critical Sener.
Sener also claimed Erdogan will hand the party over to a family member when the time comes for him to leave politics, and that is why he has been distancing the founding names of the party.
“These are the most important names for AKP. Almost none of the names were there during the establishment of the party remain in the body. He [Erdogan] exerted every effort to not leave anyone in the party who may be remembered alongside him. These names who were cast out have also been creating an increasing momentum. As a result, a new party has the potential to emerge. But there is also a basic rationale for Erdogan’s attempt to exclude these names. It is clear he wants to hand the party over to someone from his family when the time comes for him to leave,” Sener stated.
On disagreements among members of the new party, Sener said: “Gul does not favor Davutoglu’s leadership. Davutoglu wants to be the leader of a new party to be formed, while Gul does not like the idea.”