Turkey's opposition Good Party dismisses founding member

Turkey’s centre right opposition Good Party on Monday dismissed lawmaker and founding member Ümit Özdağ, Diken news site reported.

The party’s disciplinary board reached a unanimous decision in dismissing the lawmaker on charges of making unfounded claims against the Good Party leader and lawmakers, as well as ignoring the basic principles of human rights and democracy, Diken said.

The 59-year-old member of parliament in an interview broadcasted on Nov. 19 had accused Good Party’s Istanbul provincial chairman Buğra Kavuncu of membership in the Gülen movement, a religious group accused of orchestrating the 2016 failed coup. Özdağ also said he had warned the party’s leader, Meral Akşener, of Kavuncu’s alleged affiliation with the group.

The remarks prompted the party's provincial heads to issue a joint petition, calling for Özdağ's dismissal.

Özdag has rejected the decision, saying he is set to take the matter in court.

Ismail Koncuk, a Good Party lawmaker from southern Adana province, resigned from the party on Monday in protest over Özdag's dismissal, Sözcü newspaper reported.

The Good Party was formed in 2017 as a breakaway from the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), the junior coalition partner of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).