Duvar EnglishEXCLUSIVE - Support for Erdoğan's AKP lowest in 17 years, top pollster says
A cabinet consisting of university students would rule Turkey better, former deputy prime minister Ali Babacan has said, adding that the biggest problem in Turkey is the lack of freedoms.
Speaking during a meeting with students from 30 universities, Babacan, who resigned from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) last year, criticized the government over a number of issues.
"If we were to pick 15 to 20 people among you and form a cabinet, Turkey would be governed better," Babacan told the students.
"It's heartbreaking for the government to have an attitude that rejects all problems, doesn't talk about them and forbids people to talk about them, in addition to rejecting all suggestions for a solution when there is such a great consensus in the society on seeing both the problems and their solutions," he also said.
Babacan, who was among the founders of the AKP, has been working towards founding an opposition party with support from Turkey's 11th President Abdullah Gül.
During his meeting with the students, Babacan criticized President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan without naming him, saying that Turkey is being governed by one man and the people around him.Turkey's former president suggests returning to parliamentary system
"It's impossible to govern a country that has a population of 83 million and that's in such a complex region from a single place with decisions adopted in haste," he said, as he described his resignation process.
"Hence, I took a step back slowly because I saw that it wasn't working and that I couldn't contribute even from within. I watched from the outside for a while and prayed for things to improve. I prayed, hoping that lessons would be learned from mistakes, but it didn't happen. Problems continued increasing," Babacan told the students.
"When we saw that the possibility of things improving was zero, we started working towards founding a new party with our friends," he added.We are struggling to respond to criticism, AKP members tell Erdoğan
Saying that the lack of freedoms is the biggest problem in Turkey, Babacan noted that there is no tolerance towards criticism.
"If I were to list Turkey's problems, I would put the lack of freedoms, especially the freedom of expression, on top. When people can't talk and say, 'There are problems,' you can't begin finding solutions to them," he said.
"The fact that tolerance towards criticism became nonexistent increased Turkey's problems," Babacan added.
Babacan also said that the youth listed Turkey's problems as economy, freedoms, foreign policy, refugees, terror and justice.