Abdullah Gül and Ali Babacan were two bigwigs of the AK Party who set out with Tayyip Erdoğan. They were in the first cabinet that Erdoğan established in 2002, as Foreign Minister and Minister of Economy, respectively.
These two figures were at the helm in the days when AKP’s star shone brightly in the fields of foreign policy and economy. They have been pushed aside by Erdogan over the years.
Now the Turkish economy is in quite a poor state. Erdogan’s son-in-law Berat Albayrak is at the head of the economy in the country. Foreign policy was handed over to a nationalist name.
People pin their hopes on Ali Babacan’s name as he is young and has a demonstrated success. Babacan personally informed Erdogan that he would establish a new political party. Although he announced a few months ago, he did not found his party yet.
Abdullah Gül appeared on the field amidst speculations suggesting that Babacan will found his party in March.
Gül is an experienced figure who has served as foreign minister, prime minister, and president. He had been away from the media for a very long time. With his lengthy interview, he returned to the political scene and announced that he would fully endorse Ali Babacan’s new party.
Erdogan has been acting covertly for a while to discourage Gul and Babacan. In fact, Erdogan sent the Chief of General Staff Hulusi Akar to Gul by a military helicopter and tried to convince him to abstain from running for president in 2018.
However, the currently deteriorating economy offers great opportunities to Babacan.
Sources close to Ali Babacan stated that the founding petition of the new party would be given at the beginning of March at the latest, and some names resigning from the AKP will join the new party.
On the other side, Ahmet Davutoğlu’s party is advancing. Davutoğlu was one of Erdogan’s closest names in the past.
Erdogan is concerned about a split in his votes because of the new parties that his old friends will establish. How Erdogan is going to take a step forward is eagerly awaited.
There are also those who say Erdogan will get tougher and arrest Babacan and Davutoğlu. Some say that they will try to normalize and strengthen their relations with the Western world.
Represented by Erdogan in his country, the idea of “Islamism” is experiencing a significant crisis in Turkey, while being criticized in the whole world.
Perhaps this was the most striking remark that Erdogan’s ex-friend Abdullah Gul said in his interview on his return to the political scene: “Islamism is over in the world.”