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Turkey: Recep Tayyip Erdogan and AKP increasingly challenged internally
In Turkey, disillusion is spreading within AKP, the party of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Despite the loss of major cities in the last municipal, the head of state refuses - and sanctions - any questioning of his political line ... and defections are increasing.
from our correspondent in Istanbul,
The discontent is particularly felt in the pro-Erdogan press, with the departure this week of a famous journalist, Özlem Albayrak. The latter had sent her journal, Yeni Safak, a column in which she criticized the sentencing of the head of the main opposition party in Istanbul for nearly ten years. She felt - like many - that this verdict gave the impression that the power was seeking revenge for the loss of Istanbul in the June municipal elections. But these critics, readers of Yeni Safak did not read them because the column of Özlem Albayrak was simply censored. The reporter submitted her resignation and announced it on Twitter, publishing the famous text.
His sensational departure, after ten years of chronicles in this newspaper, is symptomatic of an embarrassment mingled with disillusion that we feel mounted, words less and less covered, some journalists working in the pro-government press. A disappointment that also affects cadres of the ruling party and some of its constituents.
Internal sling at the AKP
The AKP is also facing an internal sling, with the departure in recent weeks of some of its heavyweights starting with Ali Babacan , the former Minister of Economy, who resigned in July. Supported behind the scenes by former President Abdullah Gül, he is preparing to found a new party.
The other figure in open rebellion against Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is his former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu . Targeted by an exclusion process because of his criticism, he resigned this week and is also preparing to found a party. These resignations are embarrassing and worrying for the Turkish president, who has never been so challenged by his authority within his party founded 18 years ago.
Beyond the electoral setbacks of the AKP, what are the causes of discontent?
What these critical voices criticize their party and President Erdogan, it is obviously his repressive excesses, his attacks on freedom of expression that violate what they believed were the founding values of the AKP ... But the problem, and the main cause of these resignations is the now total absence of introspection and therefore of debate within the party. Those who dare to express a discordant voice are sidelined, and those who do so publicly are accused of "treason".
In the eyes of some of his supporters and former traveling companions, Recep Tayyip Erdogan is not only disconnected from the party base, he has also lost his aura. And this is true in figures: between August 2018 and July 2019, the AKP lost several thousand members.
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