Turkey’s Ahmet Davutoglu has said he will step down as leader of the ruling AK Party later this month raising further doubts about his future as Prime Minister.
At a press briefing in Ankara on Thursday, Davutoglu called for party unity, announcing he would not stand for re-election at an extraordinary AKP congress on May 22nd.
“I am not planning to put forward my nomination for the forthcoming emergency congress. Our party must show unity and solidarity. This shouldn’t be up for discussion, because the AK Party’s destiny is not simply the AK Party’s but it is the destiny and future of Turkey and the region,” Davutoglu said.
Despite pledging loyal to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Davutoglu’s decision was widely anticipated after reports of a rift between the two men over plans to move the country to a more presidential system of government.
The resignation comes at a time of growing insecurity in Turkey. The war in Syria and threat posed from ISIL, as well as an escalating conflict with Kurdish PKK fighters, has resulted in several major attacks on Turkish soil.
The political uncertainly has also rattled the financial markets. On Wednesday, the Turkish Lira fell almost 4 percent against the U.S. dollar.