Former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu resigned from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on Sept. 13 with three other members of the party. Davutoğlu was referred to the Central Disciplinary Board of the party demanding his expulsion.
With the expulsion decisions, Davutoğlu said, “Ak Party which was founded 18 years ago, is being liquidated.” Former deputies at the verge of expulsion Selçuk Özdağ, Ayhan Sefer Üstün and Abdullah Başçı together with former provincial heads Nedim Yamalı and Selim Temurci joined the former PM in his press conference.
Davutoğlu, as a former leader of the party, said he was resigning to prevent the situation where the leader of the party was expelled, adding, “We could not have imagined that we would face the press with demands for expulsion from our party which we have worked so hard for. Ak Party has served the country very well but in the past years it distanced from its founding principles. At the essence of democratic politics lies the expression of differences. We have shared all the discrepancies in the party with officials verbally and in written form. Our suggestions were not taken into consideration. But we did not publicly share those for three years. Why did we start talking since April 22? AK Party lost votes on March 31 both to the party it coalesced with and to the rival parties. Our grassroots were highly pessimistic. The grassroots who were not aware of our criticisms also held us responsible. With the views we publicly shared on April 22, we wanted to push the present party administration to review its policies that are far away from its founding principles.”
When the notification of the demand for his expulsion reached him, he was in a deep sorrow and ashamed, Davutoğlu said. “First the political text was prepared sloppily. Then instead of taking into consideration the criticisms, they opted for expulsion. The party is dominated by a small group who will not be able to produce solutions for the country’s problems.”
It was a historic responsibility for them to initiate a new political movement, Davutoğlu said. They were inviting everybody who feels a responsibility for this country, regardless of their political views, to work together with them, he said.
Meanwhile, another deputy, Feramuz Üstün, resigned from AKP. Üstün posted his resignation decision at the social media.