Turkey's former prime minister promises "new political movement" to challenge President Erdogan

Former Prime Minister and then-chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Ahmet Davutoglu resigned his party on September 13 after the AKP had launched disciplinary action against him and three other dissidents.

His resignation appears to have come before the party's decision earlier this month to send him to its disciplinary board for dismissal.

"I resign from the party where I have served with great honour, worked for years and given much effort to", Davutoglu said.

Babacan, also a founding AK Party member, resigned from the party in July, citing the need for a "new vision" for Turkey and "deep differences" over policy.

Speaking to reporters in the capital Ankara, Davutoglu said that "consultation channels" in the party are closed, claiming that it had "no possibility of transformation".

Ahmet Davutoglu - prime minister for almost two years, in 2014-2016 - was facing a hearing in the Justice and Development (AK) Party likely to result in his dismissal.

The AKP's central executive committee last week chose to take action to expel Davutoglu, along with former MPs Selçuk Özdağ, Ayhan Sefer Üstün and Abdullah Başcı on the grounds that they acted in contradiction to the AKP's rules of procedure. In May 2016, Davutoğlu stepped down from both posts and was succeeded by Binali Yıldırım.

Alluding to rumors he might be part of a new party, Davutoglu added: "From now on, it is both a historical responsibility and a requirement of our obligation to our nation to start a new political movement and set off on a new path in line with the basic principles we mentioned".

Erdogan has seen an increasing number of defections from former allies in recent months, amid disquiet over the crackdown on political opponents following a failed coup in 2016.

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