Discontent among Turkey's ruling party base soars as breakaway parties inch closer

Discontent among the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)'s base has reached almost 50 percent as former ranking officials of the AKP are set to form breakaway parties, Gazete Duvar said on Sunday.

Former Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan and former President Abdullah Gül have stepped up efforts to launch their centrist-liberal party, after the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) suffered its greatest defeat in 17 years by losing five of Turkey’s most populous provinces, including Istanbul and Ankara, in the March 31 local elections.

Meanwhile, former prime minister Ahmet Davutoğlu also came out with strong criticism of the AKP’s recent direction after it lost vital municipalities in the local elections. Since then, reports that Davutoğlu is preparing to launch a new Islamist party with a group of other AKP renegades have gathered pace.

The main target of both parties will the ruling party's support base, according to Duvar.

"According to the public polls done by the two movements, the objection to the current policies and management in the AKP base reaches 50 percent," Gazete Duvar said.

Following the reports on the party movements, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has hit back with severe attacks on Davutoğlu and other former AKP politicians seeking to form new political movements, calling them traitors and accusing them of attempting to “divide the faithful”.

"In the polls, it turned out that no negative perspective against Babacan or Davutoğlu has been detected," the Turkish news site said.