Political Infighting: Erdogan Party Strips Power From Davutoglu

A handout image made available by the Turkish Presidential Press Office on January 29, 2015, shows Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) shaking hands with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu at Presidential Palace in Ankara.

In the latest sign of Turkey’s slide toward dictatorship, the ruling AK Party has taken steps to remove power from Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and to consolidate authority behind embattled President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

In recent weeks, the Turkish parliament has taken aggressive steps toward abandoning the country’s secular constitution. If achieved, this would cement broader powers for an increasingly authoritarian Erdogan government.

Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) at the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM) in Ankara

Turkish Parliament Speaker Urges to Abandon Secular Constitution in Favor if Islamic Principles

“…The main speaker of parliament, from AKP, declared that in the new constitution, we don’t need the principle of secularism and there should be, somehow, Islam inside the constitution,”Turkish journalist Kemal Okuyan told Radio Sputnik’s Loud & Clear last week.

“He declared their intention is to change Turkey into an Islamic state.”

But as the ruling AKP works to establish its authority over Turkey, there are also signs of increasing tensions among the party’s rank and file. Most notably, Erdogan appears to be removing power from Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

During a high-profile meeting of AKP’s executive committee (MKYK) on Friday, the committee agreed to remove the prime minister’s authority to appoint provincial party officials.

Erdogan’s Gamble: Turkish President ‘Manipulates Terrorism Threat’ to Secure Ultimate Power

“This decision will weaken Davutoglu’s power over the party,” one official said. “Davutoglu’s job will not be easy after this.”

Under Turkey’s current constitution, the president can have no say in party politics, as the position is theoretically meant as a check on the ambitions of the prime minister’s party. But, given that Erdogan founded the AKP, he retains an outsized influence, even if he cannot participate officially.

Erdogan also maintains control through his personal relationships with current party members. Hayati Yazici, a key member of the MKYK, is the president’s former lawyer. Energy Minister Berat Albayrak, another prominent member, is Erdogan’s son-in-law.

Getting in Line? Europeans ‘Insult Erdogan in the Name of Free Speech’

“Davutoglu wants to carve out a political space for himself, but Erdogan is not intent on allowing the head of the executive – whether Davutoglu or anybody else – to have any significant degree of political independence,” said former Turkish diplomat Sinan Ulgen.

“Erdogan is intent on fully controlling both the executive but also the political agenda of the country and he can only do that if he has this degree of control.”

While critics have dubbed this a troubling move, the AKP has taken pains to downplay its significance.

“This authority has been taken back by the MKYK so that issues concerning the party can be discussed intensively and in more detail,” party spokesman Omer Celik told reporters on Friday.

“It is not right to consider this change as a very radical move.”


Due to the nature of independent content, VT cannot guarantee content validity.
We ask you to Read Our Content Policy so a clear comprehension of VT's independent non-censored media is understood and given its proper place in the world of news, opinion and media.

All content is owned by author exclusively. Expressed opinions are NOT necessarily the views of VT, other authors, affiliates, advertisers, sponsors, partners or technicians. Some content may be satirical in nature. All images within are full responsibility of author and NOT VT.

About VT - Read Full Policy Notice - Comment Policy

Comments are closed.