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Turkish PM bows out, as Erdogan strengthens presidency

Thursday, May 05, 2016 - 01:20

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu is stepping down after weeks of tensions with President Tayyip Erdogan a move that opponents say will bring increased authoritarianism. Mana Rabiee reports.

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Ahmet Davutoglu is stepping down as leader of the ruling AK party -- effectively bowing out as Prime Minister. It comes after weeks of tensions with President Tayyip Erdogan and is viewed by opponents of the president as part of his growing authoritarianism. Davutoglu however, says it's about maintaining unity. (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) TURKISH PRIME MINISTER, AHMET DAVUTOGLU, SAYING: "There should not be any arguments because the faith of the AK Party is now the faith of Turkey and the faith of the new world." European leaders in Brussels view Davutoglu as the more liberal face of the Turkish government. His replacement will be much more likely to back Erdogan's aim of changing the constitution to create a presidential system, further strengthening his power. In the capital, Ankara, reaction was mixed. (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) ANKARA RESIDENT, DENIZ, SAYING: "I hope this will be good for the country." (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) ANKARA RESIDENT, YILMAZ SENER, SAYING: "The Prime Minister was a good man. I love him. His departure won't be good." His departure also plunges this NATO member nation into political uncertainty -- JUST as its profile is rising as a player in the ongoing migration crisis and the fight against Islamic State along its border with Syria.

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Turkish PM bows out, as Erdogan strengthens presidency

Thursday, May 05, 2016 - 01:20