Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has taken action to expel four members including former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, who is planning to establish a rival party, Turkish media reports said on Monday.
Following a Central Executive Board (MYK) meeting on Monday evening, the AKP decided on the expulsion of former party members Ayhan Sefer Üstün, Selçuk Özdağ and Abdullah Başçı in addition to Davutoğlu.
Üstün, Özdağ and Başçı, who have also been critical of AKP policies, are known to be working with Davutoğlu.
A statement from the party said the four politicians have been referred to the party’s Central Disciplinary Board with a request for their peremptory expulsion.
AKP leader and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan signaled in a recent speech at a meeting of his party in Konya that those who continue to be party members on paper although they have parted ways with the party will be ferreted out.
Davutoğlu became prime minister when Erdoğan was elected president in 2014 but was later sidelined and resigned from office in 2016. Then, after the AKP suffered a string of defeats in local elections in March of this year, Davutoğlu became a vocal critic of the party and published a long manifesto on Facebook.
Speculation has since grown that Davutoğlu was planning to launch a new political party, and he recently confirmed that that was his intent.