Turkey PM to step down at May party congress635 views
Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) will hold a fresh leadership election later this month, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Thursday.
Davutoglu announced he would not stand in the vote for the party chairmanship, a role he currently holds alongside the premiership, meaning he will also be replaced as prime minister.
Speaking at a news conference in Ankara following a meeting of the party’s Central Executive Board (MYK), Davutoglu said the extraordinary congress would be held on May 22.
“I do not intend to be a candidate in an absence of consensus,” he said.
Davutoglu said he would continue to carry out his duties as a parliamentary deputy for Konya in central Anatolia after he leaves office.
Looking back on his 20-month tenure, Davutoglu said he had “served properly and with honor”. He also praised the work of the government and said he did not regret standing down.
Turning to his relationship with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who he met Wednesday, Davutoglu said: “No-one has heard or will hear a bad word against our president from my mouth… I want it to be clearly known and will not let it be an issue of abuse.”
With an eye on the Turkish economy, the prime minister also warned against speculation in the wake of his announcement. “Whatever decisions we take these days, there is a government which serves until the last moment and no-one should play [with the] internal balances of the economy.”
He also called for party unity.
Davutoglu has been a member of Turkey’s AKP since 2002 and has led it since August 2014.
First as a foreign affairs adviser to prime ministers Abdullah Gul and Erdogan and then as foreign minister and finally prime minister, Davutoglu has been presented to the world as Turkey’s urbane foreign policy expert.
As foreign minister from 2009, Davutoglu, a former academic, was noted for his “zero problems with neighbors” approach – outlined in his 2001 book Strategic Depth, which set out a new policy of engagement with the Middle East.
This approach led to plaudits abroad, with Foreign Policy magazine placing in the top ten of its 2010 list of global thinkers and crediting him as “the brains behind Turkey’s global reawakening”.
However, the theory failed to translate to reality as war erupted in Syria and Turkey’s ally President Mohamed Morsi was overthrown by a military coup in Egypt.
Following his years as foreign minister, he took over the premiership when Erdogan became president, at the same time assumed the chairmanship of the AKP at its last extraordinary congress.
His time as head of government was marked by two general elections, the second of which saw the AKP regain the majority it had lost in the previous poll, and the return of PKK terrorism, as well as a rise in attacks by ISIL.
During that time, Ankara also secured a raft of concessions from the EU, including visa liberalization and the pledge to speed up Turkey’s accession process.
News Source WorldBulletin