Jul 10 2018

Davutoğlu and Babacan took holiday on Erdoğan's inauguration

Former Justice and Development Party (AKP) prime and foreign minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and former deputy prime minister in charge of the economy Ali Babacan have shared photos from a touristic tour they took together while newly elected president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was hosting thousands of people at the palace for his inauguration. 

Davutoğlu and Babacan have been long rumoured to be founding an alternative conservative party to rival Mr. Erdogan's. The duo along with their wives were in the central Anatolian city of Karaman's Ermenek district, reportedly visiting historic and touristic places.

Numerous photos have been published in recent days showing that the pair meet often. Pro-Erdogan columnists and media figures have attacked former president Abdullah Gül and some other former AKP officials who have fallen out with the strongman of Turkey, accusing them of preparing a plot to overthrow Erdogan, often alleging they plan to do so with the help of Western countries.

Gül has made it clear he would be willing to run against Erdogan if all opposition parties united and endorsed him. After the announcement of the Jun. 24 snap elections in April, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu was an adamant supporter of this plan, according to credible media reports.

Despite meetings held by opposition leaders, plans for Gül to stand as a consensus candidate fell through reportedly due to the strong objection of the newly established nationalist Good Party leader Meral Akşener. 

Prominent Islamist columnist and journalist Hakan Albayrak, in a column a week before the election signaled that it is possible that there a new opposition movement could form out of a splinter group from the AKP.