Turkey’s Erdoğan stresses unity despite rumoured breakaways in ruling party

Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, called on the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to act in unity despite those attempting to leave the party in his Eid al Adha celebration message, reported daily Cumhuriyet on Monday.

Two different initiatives led by former AKP luminaries have been planning to establish breakaway parties. Former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said on Friday that work for a new party had begun. Former Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan is also leading another initiative with former senior names from the AKP who embrace a more liberal approach compared to Davutoğlu.  

“There may be leavers, there may be those attempting other things, there may be those running different campaigns. But remember, holidays are a time for us to be together, united, in solidarity at the topmost level. We will not let them divide our fraternity,” said Erdoğan in his message. 

Erdoğan also said that the AKP would be strengthened by general congresses ahead at the national, provincial, and district level. 

A source close to both breakaway initiatives told Ahval in early August that that each had claimed a 5 percent to 10 percent share of voter support in recent opinion polls. 

Another source who is close to Davutoğlu but remains a member of the AKP still said the ruling party had decided to make wholesale changes to personnel in its provincial chapters after facing major blows in local polls on March 31, but had delayed enacting the changes to prevent ousted members joining new political parties that could be established.

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