Former Erdogan ally resigns from AK Party, hints at rival party

ANKARA (Reuters) – Former Turkish deputy prime minister Ali Babacan said on Monday he was resigning from President Tayyip Erdogan’s AK Party over “deep differences” with the party’s direction and said that Turkey needed a new vision.

Babacan, along with former president Abdullah Gul, plans to launch a rival political party this year, according to people familiar with the matter, in a move that could further erode support for Erdogan following a stinging electoral defeat in Istanbul last month.

In a statement that appeared to hint at the formation of the rival party, Babacan said it had become impossible to remain a member of the AK Party (AKP).

“Under the current conditions, Turkey needs a brand new vision for its future. There is a need for correct analyses in every area, newly developed strategies, plans and programmes for our country,” Babacan said.

“It has become inevitable to start a new effort for Turkey’s present and future. Many of my colleagues and I feel a great and historic responsibility towards this effort,” he said, adding that he had submitted his resignation to the party.

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