Ahmet Davutoglu, Turkey’s prime minister, is stepping down later this month following reports of a rift with President Recep Erdogan.
In a speech on Thursday afternoon, Davutoglu confirmed his intention to quit his post at a congress of the ruling AK Party on May 22.
He pledged his continued loyalty to the president, but relations between the two have been deteriorating in recent months according to analysts and commentators, sparking the move to quit.
Erdogan is attempting to centralize power in Turkey, moving towards a more executive presidency. The move has been criticized by western governments and human rights organisations. Davutoglu made clear his unease at these developments.
The two men met on Wednesday for two hours, according to media reports, shortly followed by Davutoglu’s announcement.
Following inconclusive elections in June last year, new polls were called, with the AKP winning a surprisingly large majority in November. Since then, Erdogan has been seeking to consolidate and centralize power.
Turkey has had economic difficulties recently, and is struggling to cope with millions of refugees fleeing the war in Syria.
Matters will stabilize “"when a prime minister more closely aligned with President Erdogan takes office,” presidential aide Cemil Ertem told Turksih television on Thursday.
Davutoglu said in his speech he bears no ill will against Erdogan. "I feel no reproach, anger or resentment against anyone. No-one heard, or will ever hear, a single word from my mouth, from my tongue or my mind against our president."
SOURCE: commonspace.eu and agencies
PHOTO: Ahmed Davutoglu