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turkey prime minister

Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoglu has announced he will resign at an extraordinary congress of his ruling AK Party later this month.

Ahmet Davutoglu is believed to have fallen from favor having disapproved of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s plans to move Turkey to a presidential system of government.

However, in a speech, Ahmet Davutoglu pledged his loyalty to Recep Tayyip Erdogan, saying he bore no anger to anyone.

His successor will be chosen when the congress meets on May 22.

Photo Reuters

Photo Reuters

Earlier on the day, presidential aide Cemil Ertem said there would be no snap elections following the appointment of a new leader.

Cemil Ertem also said Turkey and its economy would stabilize further “when a prime minister more closely aligned with President Erdogan takes office”.

Ahmet Davutoglu met Recep Tayyip Erdogan for nearly two hours on May 4 but differences were clearly not resolved.

The prime minister said he would continue as a party legislator and would not try to divide the AKP.

“I feel no reproach, anger or resentment against anyone,” Ahmet Davutoglu said.

“No-one heard, or will ever hear, a single word from my mouth, from my tongue or my mind against our president.”

After Recep Tayyip Erdogan was elected president in 2014, he hand-picked Ahmet Davutoglu to succeed him as head of the AK Party (Justice and Development Party).

However, the prime minister’s unease with Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s plans to move to a presidential system, among other policies, has been evident in recent months.

In a sign of his weakening influence, Ahmet Davutoglu was stripped last week of the authority to appoint provincial AK Party officials.


Turkey’s new constitution will feature the principle of secularism, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has announced.

Ahmet Davutoglu said Turkey’s secular and democratic character was “not up for debate”.

The prime minister’s comments came a day after parliamentary speaker Ismail Kahraman – a key member of the ruling AK party (AKP) – called for secularism to be taken out of the constitution.

Ismail Kahraman, who is overseeing the draft charter, said Turkey was a Muslim country and should have a religious constitution.

Turkey is a NATO member and aspires to join the European Union, which has traditionally regarded the country as a model of secular democracy in the Islamic world.

However, critics of the government fear the modern state’s secular foundations are being eroded.

Photo Reuters

Photo Reuters

Opposition parties also fear the new constitution could concentrate too much power in the hands of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who wants an executive presidency to replace the current parliamentary system.

In a speech on April 27, Ahmet Davutoglu said: “Secularism will feature in the new constitution we draft as a principle that guarantees citizens’ freedom of religion and faith and that ensures the state is an equal distance from all faith group.”

Ismail Kahraman said on April 25: “We are a Muslim country… Secularism cannot feature in the new constitution.”

He later said his comments were “personal views”.

Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the head of Turkey’s main CHP opposition party, condemned Ismail Kahraman’s comments, tweeting: “The chaos that reigns in the Middle East is the product of ways of thinking that, like you, make religion an instrument of politics.”

The AKP, which has Islamist roots, has been pushing to replace the existing constitution, which dates back to a 1980 military coup and does not promote any religion.

Over the past two years, the Turkish government has lifted bans on women and girls wearing headscarves in schools and civil service. It also limited alcohol sales and made efforts to ban mixed dorms at state universities.

The government has pledged that European standards on human rights will form the basis of the new text.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s AKP holds 317 of the 550 seats in parliament. To submit its draft constitution to a referendum, it would need 330 votes , so it will need to win over lawmakers from other parties.

Father of Turkish politics, ex-President Suleyman Demirel, has died at the age of 90, Ankara’s Guven Hospital officials say.

Suleyman Demirel, who held office from 1993 to 2000, died early in the morning on June 17 in Guven Hospital.Suleyman Demirel dead at 90

The former president had reportedly been treated for a respiratory tract infection.

In a political carrier spanning nearly 50 years, Suleyman Demirel also served seven times as Turkey’s prime minister. His government was twice overthrown by the country’s powerful military.

Suleyman Demirel led the Justice Party from 1964 until a military coup in 1980, which led to him and other politicians being banned from politics.

The ban was lifted in 1987, when Suleyman Demirel formed the True Path Party (DYP) and became president six years later.