AKP dissident Davutoğlu founds his own party

Ahmet Davutoğlu was once considered to be Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's political protégé and for a long time was one of his closest allies. Now the former head of government has founded his own party with an allegedly more progressive and democratic agenda than Erdoğans AKP, and he is harshly critical of the president. Is he a serious rival?

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T24 (TR) /

Not beacon of hope but wolf in sheep's clothing

Davutoğlu's past as an AKP hardliner makes it hard to believe his promises for the future, writes T24:

“If we didn't know Davutoğlu from his days as prime minister and advisor to the AKP, the text of his speech could be interpreted as if his party were very liberal and a beacon of hope. But it's impossible to forget all his mistakes - starting with the fact that he was one of the main architects of a foreign policy which, after Syria, has now also plunged Turkey into the abyss. Not to mention the harsh statements he made - even though he himself is an academic - against the 'Academics for Peace' [who were arrested after signing a petition for peace with the Kurds].”

Star (TR) /

Erdoğan's enemies are delighted

Such initiatives give new impetus to the president's opponents at home and abroad, says columnist Resul Tosun in the pro-government daily Star:

“Imperialist powers have left no stone unturned in their effort to overthrow President Erdoğan. In recent times they even attempted an armed coup on July 15, 2016. ... I'm not suggesting that foreign powers are responsible for the emergence of the GP [Gelecek Partisi, Davutoğlu's new party] and all other parties in planning. I view that step as a lack of political foresight. But I suspect that all of President Erdoğan's domestic and foreign opponents will now support these parties to prevent him from being re-elected.”