Defections from Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) are quickly mounting as members have become disillusioned with the direction of the party, former loyalists told Reuters.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has tightened his grip on the Turkish state in recent years, gaining sweeping powers in a new executive presidential system inaugurated after elections in June 2018.
Yet the president’s hold over his own party has been threatened this year as former party heavyweights, including ex-prime minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and Ali Babacan, a former deputy prime minister, have resigned to set up rival movements.
Over 800,000 members have resigned from the AKP over the last year, figures on a state website show.
The resignations are a sign of the disillusionment felt by many who see their party as increasingly authoritarian.