Former Erdogan aide launches rival political party in Turkey





Istanbul (dpa) - A former Turkish deputy premier launched a new political party on Wednesday, vowing to end an atmosphere of "oppression" and mend a "weak democracy" in a direct challenge to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.



Ali Babacan
Ali Babacan
"Our citizens, our youth in particular, are worried about their future. Human rights violations and curtailing of liberties is making it hard for our society to breathe," Ali Babacan told a meeting in Ankara where he introduced his Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA).
"Deva" means cure in Turkish. Founding members of the party mostly include ex-Erdogan aides, including former ministers of trade and justice, as well as a sitting member of parliament.
"We are setting off to build a future where there is no violence, fear, oppression and discrimination," he told the meeting.
Babacan has had various senior government posts under Erdogan, including economy minister, foreign minister and deputy prime minister. He was also a founding member of Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
Babacan resigned in July last year, citing ideological divisions within the party.
Other dissenters from the AKP include former prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who resigned in September and launched another splinter party, called Future Party.
"Every so-called initiative that is introduced as new serves nothing but to confirm the demand for AKP," Erdogan told his party members in Ankara, as Babacan’s launch event took place.

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Wednesday, March 11th 2020
(dpa)
           


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