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Babacan clearly signals establishment of rival party to Erdoğan’s AKP

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Turkey’s former deputy prime minister Ali Babacan released a statement on Thursday overtly signaling his intention to establish a new political party to rival President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Deutsche Welle Turkish service reported.

In his message delivered on the occasion of the upcoming Eid religious holiday, Babacan said he is working with colleagues to bring together a staff that is strongly representative and inclusive, underlining the need for new strategies and plans required to overcome the problems the country is facing.

A founding member of the AKP, Babacan recently announced his resignation from the ruling party, which he said has moved away from its founding principles.

Erdoğan accused him of abandoning the Islamist cause. “Those who betray will pay a heavy price,” he said, referring to Babacan and former prime minister Ahmet Davutoğlu who has also been expressing his intention to establish a new party.

While keeping Davutoğlu out of the picture, Babacan is accepting support from former President Abdullah Gül, who has long been critical of Erdoğan.

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