Former Erdogan ally to form rival party before year-end

Ali Babacan had been a founding member of AK Party, and served as economy and foreign minister during its first years in power before becoming deputy prime minister. (File/AFP)
Updated 10 September 2019
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Former Erdogan ally to form rival party before year-end

  • Babacan resigned from the AK Party in July, citing “deep differences”
  • “We want the party to be formed before 2020. The quality is very important here,“ he said

ISTANBUL: Former Turkish deputy prime minister Ali Babacan will form a new political party before the end of the year to challenge President Tayyip Erdogan’s AK Party, announcing his intentions in a newspaper interview published on Tuesday.
Babacan resigned from the AK Party in July, citing “deep differences.” He had been a founding member of AK Party, and served as economy and foreign minister during its first years in power before becoming deputy prime minister, a role he held from 2009 to 2015.
Babacan told the Karar newspaper that he was still working to find like-minded individuals to forge a team to lead the new party.
“This will take some time,” he told the newspaper. “We want the party to be formed before 2020. The quality is very important here,“
Erdogan’s AK Party suffered a stinging electoral defeat in Istanbul mayoral elections in June, and a party led by Babacan could further erode Erdogan’s support base.


Merkel urges return to Iran nuclear deal to defuse Middle East tensions

Updated 17 September 2019
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Merkel urges return to Iran nuclear deal to defuse Middle East tensions

BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday called for a return to an international deal curbing Iran’s nuclear activities as the only way to defuse tensions in the Middle East.
“We believe that the deal to stop Iran from acquiring military nuclear capabilities is a building block we need to get back to,” Merkel said during a news conference with Jordan’s King Abdullah.
“But there is also a long list of other burdens coming from Iran like the ballistic missiles program and its engagement in Syria,” she said. “In recent days tensions in the region rose and Germany will always be in favor of de-escalation and long-term solutions are only possible through a political process.”