Alwaght- Former Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu announced on Friday his resignation from ruling AK Party, saying he would launch a “new political movement and embark on a new path."
Davutoglu was the prime minister and chairman of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) between 2014 and 2016 until relations soured with Erdogan and he was forced out.
Davutoglu, speaking at a press conference in the capital Ankara, said AK Party had moved away from its founding values and no longer had "the ability to be a solution to our country’s problems."
He added he could not work under the current "clique" controlling the party, which he said called any criticism from within the ranks "treason".
"It is both a historical responsibility and a necessity to build a new political movement and take a new path," Davutoğlu said. He resigned alongside several other AKP lawmakers.
His resignation may have been a preemptive move, as the AKP had been widely expected to dismiss Davutoglu, having launched disciplinary action against him.
Davutoglu first served as foreign policy advisor to Erdogan before becoming foreign minister in 2009. In 2014, when Erdogan moved to the presidency, Davutoglu succeeded him as prime minister.
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.
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.