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Tuesday 20th March 2018

Babacan Challenges Erdogan with New Political Party


7Dnews London

Tue, 10 Sep 2019 13:02 GMT

A new Turkish political party is being formed with new promises for a better future. It is just a few months before the announcement of the new party. Former Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan resigned from the Justice and Development Party (AKP) last July, due to deep political differences. After Babacan’s resignation, several powerful players gathered around him while he is preparing for the launch of his new party.

Babacan who was a founding member of the AKP, served as economy and foreign minister during its first years in power before becoming deputy prime minister, a role he held from 2009 to 2015. Since Babacan’s announcement for establishing a new party, local news either ignored publishing anything about him, or it was censored by pro-government media authorities. Also, nothing was published on social media regarding the topic. According to The Arab Weekly several political leaders were enthusiastic about the formation of the new party as they expect eminent political figures and prominent figures from academia to be members of Babacan’s new party.

The Arab Weekly noted that economic bureaucrats who hope to repair Turkey’s economic troubles are expected to support Babacan. Leading figures of the party feel they are responsible for improving the lives of Turkish people. Some of them were allies of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, these former allies stated that the public is unaware of their internal objections to AKP policies. They said the AKP abandoned the principles that united its supporters when it was first established in 2001.

It is evident that Babacan’s new party has caused panic in the AKP ruling party, although people are denying this. Some AKP members are trying to adopt moderate language about the party, pro-government columnists pointed out that Erdogan is sure to target Babacan and the party considers them to be “traitors.”

Reuters reported that Babacan pointed out that the AKP has deviated from founding principles and that he is looking for compatible individuals to form a team to lead the new party. He added that former AKP President Abdullah Gul is simply supporting the formation of the new party, but he is not formally involved. Babacan added that the creation of a new party will take some time, but “We want it to be formed before 2020. The quality matters here.”

In his turn, Middle East news website The National revealed, Erdoğan condemned Babacan for resigning from the AKP and said the party was based on the principle of staying loyal to the Islamist cause. “In our fellowship for our cause, there is one thing. You cannot leave the cause. It means serving until the end,” Erdoğan said.

Meanwhile, Babacan’s future colleagues are slowly establishing the party as they are focusing on organising resources and preparing a policy plan to address Turkey’s problems. Reuters reported that Babacan said, “Morals such as human rights, freedom, populist democracy and the supremacy of law are those that we always defend and believe in. These principles are not a periodic political preference for us,” he said, while adding that the AKP used to embrace these values and principles in the past. 

Babacan noted that Turkey’s current conditions is depressing him. “My colleagues and I want to know why this has happened. I believe the main reason is that it deviated from the first adopted values and principles,” said Babacan. 

Middle East