Davutoğlu says not individuals but principles being expelled from ruling party

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In former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu’s first remarks concerning the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) intention to expel him along with several others from membership, Davutoğlu said it is principles, not individuals, that are being thrown out of the party, according to Turkish media reports.

Following a Central Executive Board (MYK) meeting on Monday evening, the AKP decided on the expulsion of 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 believed to be collaborating with Davutoğlu in the formation of a new party.

“What the AKP administration aims to expel is not the individuals but the principles we earlier reminded them of,” Davutoğlu tweeted on Wednesday, referring to a manifesto he released following the March 31 local elections in which the AKP lost several major provinces.

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.

In his manifesto Davutoğlu slammed the party’s economic policies, media restrictions and the damage he said it had done to the separation of powers and to Turkey’s institutions.

Speculation has since grown that Davutoğlu was planning to launch a new political party, and he recently confirmed that that was his intent.

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