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Erdogan Attacks on His Old Ally: What is next?

No one is surprised.

President Erdogan of Turkey has shut down Istanbul City University, which was founded by former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

Davutoglu started his political career first as Erdogan’s top political advisor in 2003.

Then he served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2009 to 2014.

These are the years when they both decided to engage in bloody adventure in Syria.

Then he became the Prime Minister on 2014.

He resigned as Prime Minister on 22 May 2016.

In Davutoglu’s Premier, Erdogan realized that he will not be a ‘yes man’.

That’s why Erdogan distanced Davutoglu from his close circle.

In September 2019, having long been speculated to be preparing to launch his own party, Davutoglu resigned from the AKP and accused his former party of no longer being the same one that it used to be.

“There used to be a government that realized all its pledges over time,” Davutoglu said at an event in the province of Elazig, adding that those who caused a “slide” in the party’s principles should “pay the price”.

“If we lose an election that we first lost by 13,000 votes again by 800,000 votes, as was the case in Istanbul, the one responsible for this is not a prime minister who delivered a clear parliamentary majority (in last year’s general election), but rather those who have caused a serious slide in rhetoric, actions, morals and politics.”

On 12 December 2019, he launched the Future Party and became its first leader.

Over the last few months, Davutoglu has opposed Erdogan more forcefully, raising his voice more aggressively and culminating in his public plans to form a new opposition party which resulted in a death warrant to his most cherished legacy: a university in Istanbul.

Yesterday, President Erdogan released the official executive order to shut down Davutoglu’s Istanbul City University.

One of the most critical criticism that came from Davutoglu during the last several weeks, was about the July 15 coup attempt.

He said in an interview that, when he was the Prime Minister, he wanted to fire Major General Mehmet Disli with consultation of Turkish Intelligence Directorate. But it didn’t happen.

Maj. Gen. Mehmet Dişli, one of the key suspects of the failed coup in Turkey is also the brother of ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) key figure Şaban Dişli.

Disli said during the trial that he ordered pilots flying him and Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar to land the helicopter at Çankaya Palace during the coup after receiving a phone call from the prime minister’s private secretary.

Denying accusations that Akar was ordered by him to sign a coup declaration at gunpoint and read it out to the public, Dişli claimed he was with Gen. Akar from the beginning of the coup until to the end.

It seems that Davutoglu touched a very dangerous nerve of Erdogan’s current political establishment. Because this statement empowered the public sentiment that the July 15 coup attempt was a false flag.

According to the polls, Davutoglu’s party is not a big threat for Erdogan, at least for now. But along with Ali Babacan’s Deva Party, they can get voters from thee AKP’s ground during the time.

After the shutdown of the University, all the opposition parties raised their concerns and backed Davutoglu. Davutoglu also accelerated his tone and criticism against Erdogan.

Considering Erdogan’s leadership style and past behavior, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see that Erdogan also would accelerate his reactions.

In the past, Erdogan shut down many news organizations linked to the opposition groups with terrorism charges.

Erdogan may also shut down news organizations and arrest journalists linked to Davutoglu. Karar Newspaper is the most leading one. Can Erdogan’s Government also arrest journalists working in this newspaper? It is not unlikely.

Can they close the newly born opposition parties led by former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and former Minister of Economy Ali Babacan?

It wouldn’t be a surprise in Turkey.  

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Aydogan Vatandas / Editor-in-Chief
Aydogan Vatandas / Editor-in-Chief
Aydoğan Vatandaş is an investigative journalist from Turkey, specializing in Political Science and International Relations. He is the author of 13 books, many of which have become bestsellers in Turkey. 'Reporting from the Bridge' and 'Hungry for Power: Erdogan's Witch Hunt and The Abuse of State Power' are the first two books published in English in the U.S

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