Bülent Arınç, a former deputy prime minister and one of the co-founders of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), has said he will not forgive the party’s former heavyweights if they establish a political party that would be a rival to the AKP, according to Turkish media reports on Friday.
There have been rumors in Turkey suggesting that the AKP’s former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, former Economy Minister Ali Babacan and former Foreign Minister and President Abdullah Gül, another AKP co-founder, will establish a new political party. These three figures are called the “disgruntled” of the AKP and are not in active politics now.
“There is only one thing I will not forgive, their establishing a party against the AKP and attempting to fight against the AKP. This is something that is unforgivable,” said Arınç.
The former deputy prime minister also said he no option other than to remain loyal to the party and its leader, who “bestowed on me these honorable posts.”
Turkey will hold local elections on March 31. Rumors have circulated before every election in the past that a former AKP figure is preparing to launch a rival party, but the rumors have never become reality.