Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu Nominated As Turkey’s New Prime Minister

erdogan-davutogluTurkish president-elect Tayyip Erdogan nominated Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu as the next leader of the ruling AK Party and his future prime minister on Thursday.

The AK Party will vote on Davutoglu’s nomination at a congress next Wednesday, but he is unlikely to be opposed. Erdogan, who will be sworn in as head of state on Aug. 28, has made clear the new party leader will be his prime minister.

Erdogan vowed to back Davutoglu in fighting the “parallel state” he blames for plotting against him with a corruption scandal earlier this year, and in advancing a peace process with the country’s Kurdish minority.

The decision was announced by Erdoğan after a three-hour meeting at the party headquarters.

“Our nominee is our foreign minister, our Konya deputy, our brother Ahmet Davutoğlu,” Erdoğan told the crowd, which included government ministers and journalists, at the AKP headquarters in Ankara on Aug. 21.

He said Davutoğlu was chosen following “very delicate deliberations” and due to his “determination to fight the ‘parallel state.’” The term “parallel state” is used by government supporters to refer to the followers of Islamic scholar and the AKP’s ally-turned-nemesis Fethullah Gülen, who has been in voluntary exile in the United States for over a decade.

“We had consultations with everybody from the people on the street to the highest bodies of our party,” Erdoğan added regarding the selection of Davutoğlu. “We have come to a certain point in peace and brotherhood; the unity of this movement comes above everything. Many people hope for cracks within our party, but we have survived such operations.”

Davutoğlu took the stage after Erdoğan, addressing him as “Mr. President.”

“The movement of the AK Party was not the product of a certain context. It is a movement rooted in a state tradition that walks to the future, and our president is our leader,” Davutoğlu said, describing the party as “a movement that closed the interregnum and restored our state.”

“The great restoration movement that has been realized over the past 12 years will continue without interruption. The country that was regarded as a sick man 12 years ago is now on its feet, has remembered its historic mission, and started a blessed march,” he added, vowing that neither the “parallel state” nor any other force could stop this march.

Davutoğlu is expected to be given the mandate to form the next government by Erdoğan on Aug. 29, a day after the official presidential handover. He will become Turkey’s 26th prime minister following a procedural confidence vote at Parliament in early September.

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