Erdoğan supporters working to dissuade former allies from launching breakaway parties
A group of people close to Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and former politicians from his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) have met with former Erdoğan allies to dissuade them from founding rival parties, news site Duvar reported on Monday.
The group met with former Prime Minister Davutoğlu and former President Abdullah Gül last week, Duvar said.
The officials have also requested a meeting with former deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan as well, but the meeting hasn’t taken place yet, it added.
Davutoğlu and Babacan, who resigned from the ruling AKP in September and July, respectively, earlier this year announced that they were going to establish two separate political movements.
Babacan has said Gül would not be involved in his party, but would act as an advisor.
The group holding the meetings to dissuade the president’s former allies aim to prevent harm to the AKP by the parties Davutoğlu and Babacan are in the process of establishing, and seek a peaceful resolution with the former AKP heavyweights, Duvar said.
“Everybody who stood by in silence has a responsibility [in what happened]. You are too late,” Davutoğlu told the group, Duvar said citing a source.
A source close to Gül said Erdoğan’s comments last week about the Istanbul Şehir University did not reflect the truth, Duvar said.
Erdoğan on Saturday accused former allies of defrauding Turkey's state-owned Halkbank in a controversy over the private university, whose founding members include Davutoğlu.
Halkbank recently took Şehir University to court citing its inability to pay back loans. All assets of the university have been frozen.
The university is also facing legal issues with a lot of land that was allocated for its campus, with President Erdoğan accusing Davutoğlu of unlawfully transferring ownership of the land.
Figures from the Şehir University see this as a politically motivated attack through the courts.