ISTANBUL — Daily News with wires
The Istanbul provincial chairman of Turkey's conservative Saadet (Felicity) Party resigned from the party Saturday, a little more than a week after the party's leader stepped down amid an internal power struggle.
Erol Erdoğan, Saadet's Istanbul provincial chairman, said Saturday in front of the party's Istanbul headquarters that he would continue on his "political path" with former party chairman Numan Kurtulmuş, according to daily HaberTürk's website.
"Resigning was not easy," Erdoğan said, adding that 2,775 other party members in Istanbul were planning to resign to join a new political movement that Kurtulmuş has pledged to start. Later Saturday, Kurtulmuş announced that he would launch a new political party on Oct. 25, daily Hürriyet reported on its website.
Kurtulmuş resigned Oct. 1 as Saadet Party leader and left the party after a court ruling transferred party administration from his leadership to a board of trustees.
A rift emerged in the party between the supporters of Necmettin Erbakan, an iconic name in the conservative Turkish political movement, and Kurtulmuş after the party’s convention in July, when Kurtulmuş excluded the names of Erbakan’s relatives and friends within the party leadership’s inner circle from the ballot.
An Ankara court ruled Sept. 22 that the party must elect a new administration at a party convention.