Erdogan’s Attacks on His Old Ally Could Backfire

For Foreign Policy


Parting ways with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has not been easy for former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. Since being forced to resign his post in 2016, Davutoglu has occasionally waded into the public sphere to offer careful criticism of Erdogan’s one-man rule that is threatening Turkey’s democracy. But over the last few months, Davutoglu has opposed Erdogan more forcefully, culminating in his public plans to form a new opposition party—an announcement that could mean a death blow to his most cherished legacy: a university in Istanbul.

This month, an Istanbul court sided with creditors at Halkbank in a dispute that spells the end for Istanbul Sehir University, founded by Davutoglu in 2008 to cater to a growing conservative intelligentsia. Halkbank loaned the university around 400 million Turkish lira ($70 million) based on collateral in the form of a massive campus in eastern Istanbul that is worth around three times that.

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