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Ex-Turkey PM Davutoglu to launch ‘political movement’ as Erdogan faces challenge from former allies

Ex-Turkey PM Davutoglu to launch ‘political movement’ as Erdogan faces challenge from former allies

Former Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoglu said on Friday he would launch a “new political movement” in an act seen as the latest challenge to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan from his former allies.

Davutoglu was the prime minister and chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) between 2014 and 2016 until relations soured with Erdogan and he was forced out. There have been persistent rumors that he would establish his own party to rival the AKP. “It is our historical responsibility and duty to the nation… to set up a new political movement,” Davutoglu told reporters in Ankara.

Earlier this year, he criticized the AKP’s trajectory, especially after a controversial decision to annul the results of Istanbul’s mayoral election when it was won by the opposition. His resignation appears to have come before the party’s decision earlier this month to send him to its disciplinary board for dismissal, AFP said.

Erdogan has seen an increasing number of defections from former allies in recent months, amid disquiet over the crackdown on political opponents following a failed coup in 2016.