After the loss of major cities .. Erdogan is losing members of his party Politics and Economy -

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After the mayor of the main cities lost to the opposition this year, such as the capital Ankara and the largest Turkish city of Istanbul, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan faces a new challenge: old allies seeking to split from the AK Party and establish their own parties.

It seems that the holy union around the Turkish president has begun to crack, as the unprecedented steps of former Prime Minister Ahmed Davutoglu and former economy minister Ali Babacan have shown. In recent weeks, both have criticized Turkey's tendencies under Erdogan's administration. These statements gave credence to rumors that continue to escalate, pointing to the intention of Davutoglu and Babajan, two key figures surrounding Erdogan, to form their own parties to challenge the ruling AK Party 17 years ago.

Babacan made the first move on July 8, when Babacan, who is widely respected in the economic community and credited with the AKP's economic success in the first decade of his rule, announced his resignation from the party, taking the "sacrifice" of principles and referring to the need For a "new vision" for Turkey.

With inflation in Turkey at 15.7 percent, deflation 2.6 percent in the first quarter of 2019 and unemployment of 13 percent, many Turks see Babacan as the man capable of finding solutions to the country's problems. They see it as the right alternative for Erdogan, whose term expires in 2023 .

Ten days after Babacan's announcement, Daoudoglu emerged from his usual silence and interviewed for more than three hours on social networking sites, hinting that he was also ready to form a new party.

But Erdogan has played down the threat posed by the two men, while experts say he will not stand idly by in defections.

According to Leslie Hintz of Johns Hopkins University, Erdogan "may fight everything he sees as a threat to the hegemony he embodies." To support her opinion, Hintz recalls examples of the detention of Kurdish leader Saladin Demirtash since 2016, who is strongly opposed to Erdogan, as well as the ongoing trials of civil society figures and opponents of the Justice and Development Party.

When he stepped down as prime minister in 2016, nearly two years after he took office, Davutoglu vowed not to criticize Erdogan publicly. But his lengthy interview showed that he would not be silent about what he saw as shortcomings in justice and development. But Davodoglu, a divided figure, is far from certain that other members of the AKP will be dragged if he chooses to form a new party. On the other hand, according to the Turkish media, Babacan could already support the support of another prominent AKP figure, former President Abdullah Gul, to form a dissident faction. During an interview, Erdogan expressed displeasure with the projects of his former comrades. "If we are not disappointed, then who will be disappointed?" He said.

Türkei Ministerpräsident: Ahmet Davutoglu (Reuters)

A prominent figure in Erdogan's party and former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu

But Hintz believes the success of a party founded by Babacan "probably depends on how well he can deliver concrete plans to address economic problems and social inequalities." She believes that Babacan has "an opportunity to mobilize the center-right of Turkey, especially relying on general discontent with the personal enrichment of AKP leaders while the Turkish economy is plunged into crisis."

Erdogan and the Justice and Development Party won all the elections since 2002. But in the last municipal elections, Erdogan and his party, Istanbul, lost the heart of the Turkish economy, such as the capital Ankara and other major cities. Despite these setbacks, Erdoğan has a loyal base, especially in the provinces far from the center, according to Emre Erdogan of Istanbul's Bilgi University. In the opinion of the researcher that the emergence of a dissident figure of the AK Party as a new opponent may have a "destructive" impact of Erdogan in the upcoming elections in 2023, knowing that the candidate for the presidency to get more than 50% of the vote to win.


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