Baku, Azerbaijan, May 5
By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:
It became clear in early April that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu had disagreements.
The disagreement between the president and prime minister occurred after Davutoglu's statement over a hundred of academicians who opposed the military operations in the country's south-eastern provinces and criticized the actions of the government and the army in this regard.
Turkey perceived the criticism of academicians as the support for the PKK terrorist organization.
President Erdogan stood for the arrest of academicians, while Davutoglu in his statements urged to give them a suspended sentence.
But then, no one could ever predict that this disagreement between the prime minister and the president will result in Davutoglu's decision to leave his post in the party, that is, the post of chairman of the Justice and Development Party (AKP).
According to the Turkish media, Davutoglu was ready to resign from the post of AKP chairman May 4. But the president urged him to convene an extraordinary congress for the election of the party leader.
Undoubtedly, it is a very wise decision made by Erdogan, as Davutoglu's resignation would be considered as a political crisis.
Nevertheless, an extraordinary congress of the ruling party is not so different from a political crisis.
The extraordinary congress of the Justice and Development Party will be held May 22.
It is not ruled out that it is another step towards Turkey's switching to a presidential system.
Some experts in Turkey believe that Erdogan is deliberately weakening the parliamentary system in the country and thereby, wants to prove the necessity of the presidential system.
On the other hand, it shows that Erdogan fully controls the situation and the policy of the Justice and Development Party.
Five candidates, who have sufficient experience in politics, have been nominated for the position of the ruling party's chairman.
The Minister of Transport, Maritime and Communication Binali Yildirim, Minister of Justice Bekir Bozdag, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Berat Albayrak, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus, and the ruling party's vice chairman Mehmet Ali Sahin are among them.
But who among these politicians is a real candidate for the post of the AKP chairman and Turkey's prime minister?
If one compares all the candidates and their political past, it can be concluded that Numan Kurtulmus and one of the founders of the AKP Binali Yildirim, as well as Mehmet Ali Sahin are most likely to take these posts.
Regarding the candidacy of Minister of Energy and Natural Resources of Turkey Berat Albayrak, he has less chances compared with other politicians. Undoubtedly, blood relations with Erdogan will hinder Albayrak's plans, because he is the Turkish president's son in law.
It is not excluded that namely Numan Kurtulmus will become new prime minister and chairman of the AKP. Head of the Turkish intelligence Hakan Fidan, who hasn't yet appeared in the list of candidates, may become another potential candidate for these positions.
Regarding further political fate of Davutoglu, he is more likely to share the fate of former Turkish President Abdullah Gul, who became completely isolated from political activity.
The question arises whether this event will affect the reputation of the party, which is famous for its stable domestic policy and hasn't suffered any defeat throughout its activities.
Prime Minister Davutoglu in his latest statement said that the post of the prime minister has no importance for him and the most important thing is to be committed to the party's political line.
Considering this, a number of analysts in Turkey do not assess the situation as a political split.
But the number of the AKP's quite serious politicians, who have been isolated from active politics, grows year after year. Turkey's former president Abdullah Gul, former prime ministers Ali Babacan, Bulent Arinc, AKP's former deputy chairman Huseyin Celik are among them.
All this gives a reason to think that the AKP may have serious internal problems that could lead to a split in the party, even though its members themselves reject these developments.
Rufiz Hafizoglu is the head of Trend Agency's Arabic news service, follow him on Twitter: @rhafizoglu