Davutoglu as next Turkish prime minister?

Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) could choose Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu as prime minister should current Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan become president, given that the former would likely be an "accommodating" premier.

al-monitor Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan attends a meeting as he is flanked by Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan (L) and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (R) in Ankara, May 19, 2014. Photo by REUTERS/Umit Bektas.

Topics covered

turkey, recep tayyip erdogan, prime minister, presidential elections, ahmet davutoglu, abdullah gul, akp

Jun 3, 2014

The Justice and Development Party (AKP) seems to have decided who will be the next prime minister if [current Prime Minister] Recep Tayyip Erdogan becomes president. Of course it's not 100% certain and all depends on what Prime Minister Erdogan will say. Still, Ahmet Davutoglu is the name leading the list of candidates for the premiership and party chairmanship.

The vast majority of AKP parliamentarians and party officials are saying "Ahmet Davutoglu." President Abdullah Gul, who until yesterday [May 29] was the most favored name, is steadily losing ground. There is no loss in admiration and respect for Gul, but AKP veterans think that should Gul become the prime minister and Erdogan the president, tension between them will be unavoidable and this may harm the party.

AKP people say: “Erdogan is planning an effective and more powerful presidency. In such a situation the president has to have good relations with the government. Gul will not agree to serve under those conditions.”

They think Davutoglu is likely to be more accommodating as the prime minister. In a nutshell, if Erdogan wants the presidency and succeeds in getting it, the new prime minister of Turkey is likely to be Davutoglu.

But the same AKP people have an “intermediate formula.” It is the “Bulent Arinc formula” for the 11 months between the presidential elections in August 2014 until the general elections. Bulent Arinc is credited for contributing enormously to the AKP. Some think it will be more appropriate for Davutoglu to take over the prime minister seat after the 2015 general elections.

I asked the person who has been telling me all this, “You insist on Davutoglu despite his failures in foreign policy?" His response was interesting: “Those are failures according to your thinking. We don’t see them as failures. You journalists look at issues from a narrow, short-term perspective. Davutoglu is striving to give life to what we have been dreaming of for years."

I smiled, and did not answer.

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More from  Fatih Altayli