Turkey’s Former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu is expected to announce a new party to challenge President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice Party and Development Party’s (AKP) hold on power.
According to a report by Deutsche Welle’s (DW) Turkish service on Monday, the party would be launched during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
DW reported that Davutoglu, once a close adviser to Erdogan, is planning to launch the party in Diyarbakir during an iftar dinner event in Ramadan.
Davutoglu, a high profile figure in the party, served as prime minister between 2014 and 2016 before falling out with Erdogan as well as AKP officials close to him due to a power struggle.
He was forced out of the office by the president in 2016.
According to DW’s report, Davutoglu has been meeting with a number of important figures, including former deputies, from AKP as part of his preparations for the new political party.
Anonymous sources who spoke to DW claim that so far, Davutoglu’s proposal about the party to challenge Erdogan was rejected by ex-deputy PMs Mehmet Simsek and Numan Kurtulmus as well as the party’s current deputy chairman Cevdet Yilmaz.
However, former AKP MPs Abdullah Basci and Ramiz Altun are reportedly on board with Davutoglu’s plan to launch the party.
Davutoglu reportedly has been carrying out activities about the new political formation in mostly Kurdish-populated cities such as Diyarbakir, Batman, and Bingol.
He has been meeting with district and provincial heads in those cities with an aim to appeal conservative Kurdish people who don’t support AKP, DW reported.
It is also anticipated that the flag symbolizing Davutoglu’s party to be a green one with a white four-leaf clover on it.
Ali Babacan, former deputy prime minister for economic and financial affairs, is expected to form a separate party also against Erdogan, DW says.
Babacan, who is allegedly supported by around 35 AKP MPs, is reportedly acting alone and not with Davutoglu because he wants to be the leader of his own political formation.
The rumors about Davutoglu’s efforts to found a new party came to light in April, when he released a 15-page statement and criticized AKP’s policy choices for the poor standing in local elections at the end of March and for the looming economic crisis.
In the statement that was reported by Turkish media as a “manifesto,” Davutoglu referred to himself as the “last prime minister elected by people.”
He also condemned Turkey’s Supreme Electoral Council (YSK) over its decision to cancel mayoral election results in Istanbul and hold a re-run following an appeal by the AKP.
Davutoglu said that YSK’s decision “goes against universal law and established practices and harms the sense of belonging among people.”