Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was Thursday set to pave the way for his own departure from the jobs of ruling party chief and head of government, in a dramatic turn of events that will boost the power of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Divisions between Davutoglu and Erdogan that had been rumored for months erupted into the open Wednesday, with the two leaders holding crisis talks at the presidential palace that failed to resolve the conflict.
The central executive committee of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) will meet later Thursday morning and Davutoglu will then announce the convening of an extraordinary party congress later this month, the NTV and CNN-Turk channels reported.
Davutoglu will not be a candidate for the party chairmanship at the congress, meaning that he will step down from both the posts of premier and party chief, newspapers including the Hurriyet and Milliyet dailies reported.
According to the conventions of the AKP – a party co-founded by Erdogan to bring Islam into the mainstream of Turkey’s secular politics – the party chairman and head of government are the same person.
Davutoglu, who became premier in August 2014 when Erdogan moved from the premiership to the presidency, will make a highly-anticipated press statement after the meeting of the party committee, the official Anatolia news agency reported.