Turkey's AKP dismisses former PM Davutoğlu, three others

Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on Monday dismissed four key party members including former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu.

Parliamentary Human Rights Commission head Ayhan Sefer Üstün, Istanbul deputy Abdullah Başçı and former deputy vice chairman and Manisa Deputy Selçuk Özdağ, are the other AKP members that the party is set to dismiss following a four-hour executive committee meeting, pro-government A Haber reported.

The oustings arrive as reports on a centrist party, led by former allies of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and AKP heavyweights, to rival the ruling party, are gaining momentum.

Ali Babacan, a founding member of the AKP and former deputy prime minister in charge of the economy, in a strong blow to Erdoğan, resigned from the party on July 8 and said he would seek to begin a separate political movement with new allies who have a new vision for Turkey.

Former President Abdullah Gül and Davutoğlu, among others are reported to be part of the new political formation.

One of the dismissed AKP members, Başçı released a statement and said, ''we will continue to speak up.''