Former Turkish PM leaves ruling party

Former Turkish prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Friday announced he was quitting the ruling AK party.

Ahmet Davutoglu was prime minister for nearly two years, in 2014-2016 and was facing a disciplinary 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 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 in 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 minister before the position was eliminated in constitutional reforms.