Turkey’s ruling party to hold crucial meeting

Ankara:Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was on Thursday holding an extraordinary Central Executive Board (MYK) meeting amid rumours that he was resigning.

Davutoglu, earlier in the day, met President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and was expected to address the press later in the day, said reports here.

Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) sources said the party will hold a congress soon, with Davutoglu not running for the seat, Hurriyet Daily News reported.

Still, the congress might not be entirely smooth since Davutoglu has a clout over some 120 deputies, the sources said.

The relations were reportedly tense between the two statesmen amid fresh rumours suggesting Davutoglu was planning to resign after saying on May 3 that he would not hesitate to “walk away from any job position”.

The meeting sparked additional interest as it came after an address by Davutoglu to his party deputies on May 3 in parliament that lasted just 26 minutes — the shortest he has ever delivered as leader of the AKP.

Davutoglu’s speech came after the AKP’s highest decision-making body, the 50-seat Central Decision and Executive Board (MKYK), ruled to remove his authority to appoint provincial officials on April 29.

“If necessary I would turn down any position that many may think a mortal could not leave,” he said, adding to speculation that he was ready to leave his position due to a challenge to his leadership from the founding leader of the party — Erdogan.

Davutoglu became prime minister on August 27, 2014, a day after Erdogan became president.

Davutoglu’s leadership came after a period of speculation on who would replace Erdogan in the party after the election to the presidency.

According to the media, Davutoglu was asked during the MYK meeting about his remarks.

“I haven’t made my decision yet. I’m still in the decision stage. I’ve been assessing the situation,” Davutoglu said.

“Tonight is Mirac Kandili [the day of the Prophet Muhammad’s ascent to heaven]. We will contemplate. We will recall. We will review ourselves,” Davutoglu said, stressing he would not be involved in any move that would “harm the AKP”.

According to the AKP’s internal regulations, the right to appoint local party heads originally belonged to the MKYK.

However, that right was later given to Erdogan in 2002, only a year after the party was founded.

The April 29 move came after rumours that Davutoglu did not consider recommendations from the presidency in recent appointment decisions.