Ex-Turkish Premier Ahmet Davutoğlu quits ruling AKP

Ex-Turkish Premier Ahmet Davutoglu quits ruling AK Party

Ex-Turkish Premier Ahmet Davutoglu quits ruling AK Party

Former Prime Minister and then-chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Ahmet Davutoglu resigned his party on September 13 after the AKP had launched disciplinary action against him and three other dissidents.

His resignation seems to have preempted an appearance before a disciplinary board for his expulsion from the party.

Six other AKP members also declared their resignation along with Davutoglu.

Speaking to reporters in the capital Ankara, Davutoglu said that "consultation channels" in the party are closed, claiming that it had "no possibility of transformation".

Most notable among the defectors has been ex-economy minister Ali Babacan, who this week told Turkish newspaper Karar that he would launch his own party by the end of the year.

Davutoglu resigned on Friday, days after the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, began proceedings to expel him and three former legislators from the party for breach of discipline.

Davutoglu had already served notice of his intentions earlier this year when he criticised the AKP's trajectory, especially after a controversial decision to annul the results of Istanbul's mayoral election when it was won by the opposition.

After serving as current President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's foreign policy advisor from 2003 to 2009, Davutoglu was foreign minister in 2009-2014 before becoming AKP chair and prime minister.

In May 2016, Davutoglu stepped down from both posts and was succeeded by Binali Yildirim, Turkey's last prime minster before the position was eliminated in constitutional reforms.

Erdogan has seen an increasing number of defections from former allies in recent months, amid disquiet over the crackdown on political opponents following a failed coup in 2016.