Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has announced that he is stepping aside while announcing a congress on May 22 to anoint the party’s future leader.
The prime minister and the Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader said in a key press meeting on May 5 following a meeting of the party’s Central Executive Board (MYK) that he decided to step aside despite success on his terms.
His decision came after consulting party bodies and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, pointing to a recent move by the 50-member Central Decision and Executive Board (MKYK) to remove his right to appoint local leaders of the AKP.
He said he preferred to leave the seat himself, instead of changing his associates, highlighting that he would remain friends with Erdoğan.
“I have no sense of failure or regrets in taking this decision,” Davutoğlu said, speaking at a press conference evaluating his prime ministry following the MYK meeting.
Davutoğlu said resignation was not “my choice but a necessity.”
“The changing of chairs is more proper; I do not want to be a candidate at the congress,” he added.
“Our relationship of loyalty with the president will continue,” he also vowed.
Davutoğlu said his prime ministry was a success in terms of investments and the struggle against terrorism.
He also praised his interim government between the June 7, 2015, election, in which the AKP failed to gain enough parliament seats to form a government, and the Nov. 1, 2015, polls which put the party back into full power.
During the period, the party showed a “will of steel” against “jackals” who expected chaos.
The party realized significant reform after the Nov. 1, 2015, election, he said.
Meanwhile, Erdoğan commented on the congress decision, saying it was Davutoğlu’s decision.
“I wish him well. It is the prime minister’s own decision,” Erdoğan said.
A key meeting between Davutoğlu and Erdoğan at the Presidential Palace lasted for one hour and 40 minutes on May 4.
Relations have reportedly been tense between the president and the prime minister amid rumors that Davutoğlu would resign after saying on May 3 that he would not hesitate to “walk away from any job position.”
In pointed remarks before the May 4 meeting, Erdoğan said, “You should not forget how you got your post.”