By: Fahed Khitan

One to Not Bear His Shade!

Since Ahmet Davutoğlu first entered the world of politics, he was deemed “Erdoghan’s puppet”, in reference to Turkey’s strong man, the current President of the Republic, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who carried Davutogu from the fields of theory and academia to the spheres of politics, shining through every position in-charged, and transforming into a political phenomenon to the region. When Erdogan had sufficed with heading the government and the Justice and Development Party, moving up to preside the Republic, Davutoglu was the preferred alternative to Erdogan, in both primacies; the party as well as the government.

Davutoglu’s term heading the government, was reassurance on the compliance of the executive authority with the directives of the President, and the government’s commitment to see through Erdogan’s agenda to transform the regime in Turkey from parliamentary to presidency.

During his time presiding the government, Davutoglu was similar to Erdogan in everything; a student on his mentor’s path in politics and government, and a stubborn proponent of Erdogan’s positions and his “Ottomani” inclinations. Nothing indicated there being a disparity between the two men, and it seemed as if Turkey is set out to amend the constitution and that Davutoglu is to inherit presidency after Erdogan.

However, and suddenly, differences unravelled between the leader and his “puppet”, in a scenario that approximates the unfolding of events between Erdogan and his comrade Abdullah Gül.

Erdogan had finished out Gul, excluding him from government and party, and pushing him to retreat to isolation from the life of politics. One of Gul’s consultants documented his experience in a book that shocked Turkey.

Prior to his latest confrontation with his government’s Prime Minister, Erdogan had endured an existential struggle with the Public Service Movement headed by Fethullah Gülen; a long lasting ally of Erdogan, and a facilitator to the reinforcement of the Justice and Development Party’s rootedness in power. Erdogan successfully destroyed what was known as the parallel state, dispersing its cells within the judiciary, security, and governmental devices; along the way, taking over dozens of television stations and newspapers, and muffling every opposition voice in the media.

Erdogan lost not a single battle with any of his rivals. He aggregated much support in the latest legislative elections, even though his party did not achieve the sufficient majority to amend the constitution.

Regionally speaking, Erdogan faced a highly multiplexed situation, engaging in open confrontations with Kurdish militias and ISIS, rendering the internal Turkish circumstance highly volatile and unstable, after a series of terrorist attacks that struck hard on the tourism sector and dragged heavily on expected growth rates. Nonetheless, he was able to score a winning deal with the European Union regarding the refugees, in which the resigned Premiere played a major role.

Yet, amidst all these challenges, Erdogan risks letting go of his most faithful of men, in a step that would deepen the disparity within his ruling party, and weaken their control. What is worse is that it projects him as a leader who could no longer bear his shadow; one who does not mind abandoning his allies to deepen his power, to indoctrinate “Erdoganism” as Turkey sole option.

Davutogu did not want to intensify Turkey’s problems as he is to leave office amid everybody’s shock and awe. He had rather not engaged in a lost battle with Erdogan, preferring to withdraw quietly, as did his comrade Abdullah Gül.

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