Babacan says new party will be established by end of 2019

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Ali Babacan spoke to Turkey's conservative Karar daily.

Former Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan has said a new political party that he intends to establish will become reality by the end of 2019, the Karar daily reported on Tuesday.

Babacan, who spoke to the daily in an exclusive interview, resigned from the Justice and Development Party (AKP) on July 8 and issued a written statement on Aug. 8 in which he spoke about having started preparations for the establishment of a new party. Babacan also said many citizens have expressed their desire to contribute to the establishment of the new party.

“First of all, our aim is to work with a team that fits us. We are meeting with many people and making assessments. This will take some time. Taking this into consideration, we hope to form the legal entity [of the new party] before 2020,” Babacan said.

The AKP is uneasy with Babacan’s plans to establish a rival political party, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has accused Babacan of abandoning the Islamist cause.

In the interview Babacan said while the AKP was a “way out” of the problems Turkey faced when it was established in 2001, the party has moved away from its principles and that this has become the main source of the problems in the country.

The former prime minister also noted that there was no personal reason for his parting ways with the AKP.

“If personal resentments had been the reason, I would have left the party in 2003, let alone serve as minister for 13 years,” he said.

When asked about his team, Babacan refused to give any names and said individuals from politics and the bureaucracy who have been known to the public for a long time were working with him.

“Those who betray will pay a heavy price,” Erdoğan recently said, referring to Babacan and former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, who has also been expressing his intention to establish a new party. While keeping Davutoğlu out of the picture, Babacan is accepting support from former President Abdullah Gül, who has long been critical of Erdoğan.

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