Following the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) second loss in the Istanbul re-run elections, a former prime minister from the party slammed his former party and its leader, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
A news report by Gazete Duvar on Sunday said Ahmet Davutoglu also signaled the formation of a new party.
Davutoglu became prime minister in 2014 courtesy of Erdogan and had to resign when he fell out with Erdogan in 2016. He raised his voice against his former leader and the AKP after the opposition’s sweeping victory in Istanbul’s mayoral rerun election on June 23.
Ekrem Imamoglu from Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) won the June 23 mayoral rerun with greater margin due to the public’s reaction to the annulment of the March 31 vote by the Supreme Electoral Council (YSK), which was a major setback for Erdogan.
The former PM criticized AKP on many fronts, including election strategy, new presidential system, economic policies, and judiciary system.
“If we lose an election we first lost by 13,000 votes again by 800,000 votes, as was the case in Istanbul, the one responsible for this is not a prime minister who delivered a clear parliamentary majority [in last year’s general election], but rather those who have caused a serious slide in actions, rhetoric, morals, and politics,” Davutoglu said at an event in the eastern province of Elazig on Saturday.
Davutoglu further claimed Erdogan contacted the jailed leader and founder of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), Abdullah Ocalan to make Kurds stay neutral in Istanbul’s June 23 election, so that CHP’s Imamoglu would lose the vote.
“Saying the elections are valid even if (won) by one vote and then changing your stance; talking about a matter of survival in one election and labeling anyone who thinks otherwise a terrorist but then getting in touch with Imrali [Ocalan] in the next vote is a detachment from the public conscience,” said Davutoglu, referring to Erdogan’s contrasting election strategy that labelled the opposition “terrorist” during the March 31 poll.
Turkey’s pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) did not nominate any candidate in the March 31 in Istanbul to back Imamoglu against Erdogan’s AKP. Despite Ocalan’s call for neutrality just before the election, the HDP kept its stance during the June 23 poll, contributing to the opposition’s win.
The new presidential system gave Erdogan sweeping new powers was also at the center of Davutoglu’s criticism.
“The state structure is not built on the views of individuals and political parties. The system has been changed from a crooked parliamentary system into another crooked so-called presidential system,” Davutoglu lashed out.
The solution to this unfavorable stance according to the former MP was to change the status, instead of changing duties. He referred to the rumors of a reshuffle in the council of the ministers after AKP’s vote defeat in Istanbul.
Davutoglu also said a law related to transparency in politics should be immediately enacted. “Our country is suffering from a severe economic crisis, as was the case in 2008. Then, there were people in charge of the country’s economy who mastered economics. We cannot get out of this crisis with the mentality of knowing best for everything, belittling, and thinking teamwork is just bringing together your inner circle,” Davutoglu said, targeting Erdogan’s son-in-law Berat Albayrak who was appointed Turkey’s finance minister last year.
According to Davutoglu, the AKP is not a party of one person, family or group alone. The state works and family relations must absolutely be separated. There must be no first-degree relatives of the politicians in the government.
The former AKP senior argued justice in the country has been so damaged people have lost confidence in it. “The time has come to have a common attitude against this situation. Today is not the time to be silent. We need a new understanding of politics,” he vowed.
Davutoglu, former Turkish President Abdullah Gul and former Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan have been a subject of rumors of a formation of a new party. The rumor has been circulating for a year now.
However, it took time for them to speak loudly against Erdogan and his AKP until the March 31 local elections which became a stinging blow to the Erdogan regime.
First, Davutoglu published a manifesto on April 22 through his Facebook account in which he openly criticized his former boss, Erdogan. Following the YSK’s ruling on the repeating of Istanbul mayoral election on May 6 at the AKP’s request, Gul also started criticizing.
The trio has not been moving together. Gul-Babacan’s front, which is expected to form a rival political party this fall has its own direction as they reportedly do not get along with Davutoglu.
Some political analysts have doubts about the public backing either of the two moves as they stayed silent against Erdogan’s acts until recently.