Davutoğlu says he wanted to work with Babacan on new party but was turned down

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

Former Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has said he wanted to work together with former minister Ali Babacan for the establishment of a new party but that Babacan wanted to go his own way, according to Turkish media reports.

Both Davutoğlu and Babacan recently parted ways with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) after serving the party in important posts for years. Each of them is preparing to establish a rival party to the AKP.

Davutoğlu, who visited Felicity Party (SP) leader Temel Karamollaoğlu on Thursday, talked about the progress in his work to found a new party. He said the new party would be established by the end of this year.

When asked why he preferred to work alone and not with Babacan, Davutoğlu said: “I wanted to work with Mr. Babacan; there was no obstacle to this from my point of view. But he didn’t share that interest. So we have gone our own way.”

Davutoğlu also added that he is always ready to work with Babacan and that the issue of who will lead the new party does not matter to him.

Davutoğlu became prime minister when Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was elected president in 2014 but was later sidelined and resigned from office in 2016. 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.

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