Turkish politicians mediating between Erdoğan and ruling party rebels - columnist

A group of politicians from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has been trying to mediate between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and AKP luminaries who resigned from the party to establish two new rival parties, Hürriyet columnist Hande Fırat wrote on Friday.

Duvar news site reported this week that a group of politicians had held meetings with former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and former Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan to prevent the split of the party that has ruled Turkey for 17 years.

Fırat said the group included 14 figures from the AKP, who first met Erdoğan to present him him with a list of recommendations. 

Their presentation emphasised that the new breakaway parties would strengthen the opposition bloc, and listed a number of reasons they said the ruling party had performed poorly in this year’s local elections, in which it lost major provinces including Istanbul and Ankara.

They placed the blame on the AKP’s harsh rhetoric during the electoral campaign, its shift away from meritocracy, and what it called a prevailing image of lavish spending by AKP politicians during an economic period when the majority of the country has been suffering.

The group also said the AKP should try to downplay the image of Turkey as being under one-man rule and should analyse the changing demographics in the country, according to Fırat.

The columnist said the group held long meetings with Davutoğlu and Babacan, though Duvar news site said on Wednesday the latter had denied a meeting taking place. 

Meanwhile, Davutoğlu lodged an official application to establish his Future Party on Thursday and shared the party’s logo and the list of founders with the public on Friday. Babacan is expected to announce the establishment of his liberal party within one month.