Ex-PM Davutoğlu opens office in Istanbul for new party

Former Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, who last month resigned from Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP), has rented an office in Istanbul for his new political movement to rival the ruling party.

Located in Istanbul’s Bahçelievler district, the building will be used as the party’s provincial headquarters, independent news site Diken reported on Tuesday.

Davutoğlu, along with three colleagues, resigned from Turkey’s ruling Islamist party on Sept. 13 after the AKP's Executive Board unanimously decided expel the four members amid reports that they were acting together to launch a breakaway party.

In an online statement he issued following his resignation, Davutoğlu said the ruling AKP had now been controlled by a narrow cadre and there no longer existed the possibility of triggering a change inside the party.

The former prime minister also laid speculation to rest about a new political formation by stating that it was a historical responsibility for him and his colleagues to a new path based on their principles.

Davutoğlu served as foreign minister between 2009-2014 and later as prime minister until 2016 when he was sacked by Erdoğan.

The ruling AKP has seen an increasing number of defections from former allies in recent months, including other party heavyweights such as former Economy Minister Ali Babacan.