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Turkish politics in turmoil over prime minister Davutoglu's resignation

Turkish Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, steps down following policy clashes with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Erdogan
Turkish Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, steps down following policy clashes with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Erdogan Reuters/Umit Bektas

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu's announcement that he will bow out will have a major effect on Turkish politics, experts say. They say his resignation will enable President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to tighten his grip on power.

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"The fact that his term has ended is, in my opinion, a coup d'etat, a civilian coup d'etat," says Binnaz Toprak is a political scientist and former MP for the secular opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). 

The prime minister, who is considered a heavyweight within the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), graduated from her department when she worked at Istanbul's Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, she recalls.

"Erdogan's plans are to have a presidential system in Turkey," Toprak comments. "There is a huge amount of literature regarding presidential versus parliamentary systems and, especially in countries like ours where democracy is not really consolidated, it simply doesn't work and it leads to dictatorships."

EU migrant deal threatened

Observers say Erdogan squeezed Davutoglu out of his position after isolated yet serious policy disputes.

"We know that Erdogan has been systematically criticising Turkey's migrant deal with the EU," says Emre Demir of Zaman France, the French edition of Zaman, a paper that was taken over by the Turkish government in March this year because of its opposition to Erdogan. "He's shown that he was not OK with the deal. But it seemed that the real problem was that Merkel, and other European leaders, talked and negotiated with Davutoglu rather than Erdogan."

Kurdish conflict to worsen

Demir believes the conflict with Kurdish armed groups in south-east Turkey will deteroriate following Davutoglu's departure.

Tugce Oklay is a member of Collective Taksim, an ecological and feminist movement in France that stands in solidarity with similar movements for political change inside Turkey.

"Already we were not happy with Davutoglu's period as prime minister," she says. "But it will be even worse with the next prime minister because they will just be a puppet for Erdogan 's politics. There will be much more repression."

The new premier is due to be announced at an AKP congress on 22 May.

Names being floated include Transport Minister and veteran Erdogan ally Binali Yildirim, the president's son-in-law, Energy Minister Berat Albayrak, and Justice Minister, Bekir Bozdag.

Click here for our coverage of Turkey presidential election 2014

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