It’s not divisive to establish a new party, former PM Davutoğlu says

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Former Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu. / AFP PHOTO / OZAN KOSE

Former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has said he does not view founding new parties as divisive, Deutsche Welle Turkish service reported on Thursday.

Speaking on a Turkish journalist’s YouTube channel on Thursday, he answered questions on recent rumors of a political party he intends to establish by breaking away from the Justice and Development Party (AKP).

“I have consulted with friends who were looking for a new direction. If everything was fine, I would not consider launching myself back into politics,” the former prime minister said.

“Religion has been used for political ends. Conservative political lines are not represented,” he said, adding that religious leaders have the lowest level of public trust according to surveys.

“This problem can only be resolved through a new alternative. And that is to establish a new party if it turns out there’s no other option.”

He went on to criticize the AKP’s alliance with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), saying he tried to explain to president and party chairman Recep Tayyip Erdoğan that it would disrupt the AKP and cause a loss of votes to the MHP.

Davutoğlu also said he was asked to assume an ineffective role as prime minister and that that was what ultimately led to his being forced to step down in 2016.

“They wanted me to be a low profile prime minister,” he said. “I know myself. I can be everything but low profile.”

When he was asked why he is not cooperating with former President Abdullah Gül and former Economy Minister Ali Babacan, who are also rumored to be working towards a new party, he said, “They have not yet expressed an interest in doing so.”

The former prime minister began openly criticizing the AKP before the İstanbul mayoral election on June 23.

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