Amid mounting speculation about the candidacy in upcoming elections of former President Abdullah Gül for the opposition parties, former Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu on Thursday expressed support for Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the presidential race slated for June 24, according to the Cumhuriyet daily.
Turkish media had reported that on April 23, Gül and Davutoğlu held a secret meeting while opposition parties increased their meetings traffic for possible alliances in the snap presidential and parliamentary elections.
Davutoğlu said at a press conference that the meeting took place at the invitation of Gül, adding that he rejects all the speculation of recent days.
“While my membership continues in [the Justice and Development Party] AKP, i will not be part of any political activity outside the party. If I do, it will be the end of my AKP identity. I don have any intention of doing so,” said Davutoğlu.
“In this context, any decision of the AKP is my decision, too. Mr. President [Recep Tayyip Erdoğan] is also my candidate.”
Former Prime Minister Davutoğlu had to step down in May 2016 at Erdoğan’s order.
President Erdoğan on Tuesday said the possible candidacy of former President Gül from the opposition side would not change his plans for the elections: “I don’t have a problem with that. We’ll see who is in the squares to campaign. We’ll see who is there and then go on our way. We decide everything including the scenarios we want. Those who oppose us should get themselves ready with that in mind.”