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Turkey’s Erdogan picks Davutoglu as next PM

The newly elected president also nominated Davutoglu as the next leader of the ruling AK PArty

Published: Updated:

Turkish President-Elect Recep Tayyip Erdogan nominated on Thursday Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu as the next leader of the ruling AK Party and his future prime minister, Reuters news agency reported.

Erdogan said Davutoglu’s determination to battle the “parallel state”, a term he uses for cleric Fethullah Gulen’s influential network of followers, had been a key factor in his nomination as the next AK Party leader and prime minister.

“We will be continuing this struggle together. Being president will not hinder my struggle with the parallel structure,” Erdogan said during a news conference in Ankara.

Erdogan, who will be sworn in as president next Thursday, said he would also support Davutoglu in advancing a peace process with Turkey’s Kurdish minority and that forging a new constitution would be a priority for the next government.

Erdogan announced Davutoglu’s nomination after a meeting of the AK Party’s executive board in Ankara.

The AK Party will vote on Davutoglu's nomination at a congress next Wednesday, but he is unlikely to be opposed.

Davutoglu is a loyal Erdogan ally who has developed a more assertive Turkish foreign policy in recent years that has been criticised by opponents as being over ambitious and even neo-Ottoman.

Erdogan gave up both his current posts as premier and party leader when he becomes president on August 28.