Turkey’s ruling party starts process to expel former PM, lawmakers

Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has decided to initiate the process to expel former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and three other former lawmakers over their fierce criticism of AKP’s policies, local media reported Tuesday.

In a meeting of the AKP’s central executive committee late Monday chaired by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the party members unanimously agreed to launch expulsion process for Davutoglu, along with former lawmakers Selcuk Ozdag, Ayhan Sefer Ustun and Abdullah Basci, the Daily News reported.

The committee will take the cases to AKP’s Central Disciplinary Board to order the expulsions on the grounds that they violated the party’s rules of procedure.

Davutoglu had also served as foreign minister and a close aide to Erdogan for many years.

However, he had to resign from the position of party leader three years ago over growing differences with Erdogan in policies.

Davutoglu has recently been outspoken as he criticized the AKP’s policies particularly on the issues of freedom of expression, fight against terrorism and fundamental rights.

He also criticized the alliance between the AKP and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).

Davutoglu has not expressed his will to launch a new political party, but local media reports speculated that he is working on this.