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Ali Babacan speaks at the launch of his new Democracy and Progress Party, in Ankara. Ali Babacan, a former Turkish economy minister, speaks at the launch of his new Democracy and Progress Party, in Ankara, March 11, 2020 (AP photo by Burhan Ozbilici).

Turkey’s Former Economy Czar Looks to Unseat Erdogan and the AKP

Friday, March 20, 2020

ISTANBUL—In a major political shake-up in Turkey, Ali Babacan, a former economy minister and once-close confidante of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, recently ended months of speculation and formally launched a new political party to challenge his old boss. Babacan, who resigned last July from Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party, or AKP, formally launched his new Democracy and Progress Party on March 11, at a rally in the capital, Ankara.

The DEVA party, as it is known—Turkish for “cure”—unites a slate of former Erdogan allies, including three other former AKP ministers, six former AKP members of parliament and one sitting lawmaker who resigned from the AKP earlier this month.
Many of the new party’s 90 founding members are new to politics, though, a deliberate move apparently designed to broaden its appeal. ...

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