Former minister resigns from ruling AKP, signals plans to found new party

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Former Economy Minister Ali Babacan.

Ali Babacan, a former minister and founding member of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), announced on Monday that he had resigned from the party, signaling that he would establish a new one, according to a statement sent to Turkish media outlets.

“Under these circumstances, Turkey needs a brand new vision for the future,” he said in the statement, adding that he had encountered differences with the AKP in recent years.

Babacan, 52, a Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ) alumnus, was left out of the Turkish cabinet in 2015 after 13 years of service in various ministry offices.

He is in talks about a new party with former Turkish President Abdullah Gül, another founding member of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s AKP.

“Human rights, liberties, progressive democracy and the rule of law are our indispensable principles,” the statement said.

Last week President Erdoğan dismissed claims that a number of deputies from his AKP are cooperating with former AKP politicians to establish a rival party.

The new party talks gained momentum after the AKP suffered a major defeat in the repeat İstanbul mayoral election on June 23.

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