Former Turkish prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Friday said he would launch a “new political movement” in the latest challenge to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan from his former allies.
Erdogan has seen an increasing number of defections from former allies in recent months, amid disquiet over the party’s policies on freedoms, justice and the economy.
Dissent within the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has accelerated since a controversial decision to annul an opposition victory in the Istanbul mayoral election in March, only for the opposition to win by an even wider margin in the re-run.
Davutoglu already signalled his intention to split several months ago when he criticised the handling of the Istanbul poll.
“It is our historical responsibility and duty to the nation… to set up a new political movement,” he told reporters in Ankara on Friday.
Davutoglu was foreign minister before serving as premier and chairman of the AKP, until relations soured with Erdogan in 2016 and he was forced out of office.
“I resign from the party where I have served with great honour, worked for years and given much effort,” he said.
His resignation comes before he was pushed out of the AKP.
Earlier this month, the AKP’s executive committee unanimously agreed to send Davutoglu to a disciplinary board for dismissal — a move he described as the moment the AKP “renounced its founding values and principles.”