Turkish Prime Minister Davutoglu steps down amid conflict with Erdogan

turkey PM davutoglu_aa.com.trVexed with the authoritarian ways and the pressure tactics of the President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu announced his decision to step down. ‘The resignation was not a willing decision. Given the circumstances, it was but an option he had to resort to’, he added, leaving room for speculation about pressure from the President and his fellow party men.

Reacting strongly the opposition in Turkey alleges that this is a ‘palace coup’. The official sources of the UN indicate the possibility of reconsidering relations with Turkey, given Davutoglu’s departure.

‘In the extreme tough times that the country faced, I succeeded in maintaining unity between the party and the government. The government of the AKP will even in the times to come, have a strong hold on the country. However, as of today, there happens to be a lack of concurrence as regards my name for party leadership and so I will not be contesting the next elections. I take this decision not by choice but owing to the circumstances’, said Davutoglu as he stepped down both as party chief and as Prime Minister.

Formerly the Minister for Foreign Affairs in President Erdogan’s government, Davutoglu assumed office of Prime Minister in August 2014 in a party conference. Known as Erdogan’s confidante, Davutoglu, as Prime Minister, tried to create his own identity. But his 20 month tenure as Prime Minister was marked by conflicts with the President over several issues. The decisions of the supreme court, the operation of the intelligence services, the appointments in the party and in the government, the transparency package, the procedure to adopt the new constitution and the definition of terrorism are some of them.

President Erdogan wishes to replace Turkey’s current parliamentary democracy with the Presidential system and this with the intention of a one man grip over the party and the country. Erdogan has even begun to intervene and modify the present system to serve this purpose.

Erdogan’s dictatorial ways have invited plenty of criticism from within the country as well as from outside it. European nations and US politicians too have expressed disapproval of Erdogan’s methods. On this background Davutoglu’s exit sounds a warning bell of political distress in Turkey. The Turkish military and the opposition did in the past try challenging Erdogan but their revolt was crushed by sheer might. However, Davutoglu’s resignation points to challenge and resistance to Erdogan right within the party.