Erdogan faces rare rebellion within his party as economy weakens

Former prime minister says AKP must face new reality


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was confronted with a rare sign of rebellion within the governing party as former allies attacked his leadership following a sharp deterioration in the economy and stinging losses in local elections last month.

Ahmet Davutoglu, who was once Erdogan’s handpicked successor at the helm of the ruling AK Party, said it “must face the reality of decreasing public support” due to “arrogant” policies. The former prime minister’s written statement on Monday avoided any personal criticism of Erdogan, though ripped into policies under the president from the management of economy to curbing of basic liberties and the pressure on free speech.

“We can’t manage the economic crisis that’s in play by denying its existence,” said Davutoglu, who is still an AKP member, though no longer in parliament. “A governance crisis lies at the root of the economic crisis that we are living.”

The broadside underscores the turmoil in Turkey as Erdogan tries to keep control of the political narrative and smother any sign of opposition.

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