By Yildiz Nevin Gundogmus
ANKARA (AA) - A former Turkish prime minister on Friday announced the establishment of a new political party, the Future Party.
Ahmet Davutoglu -- prime minister for nearly two years, in 2014-2016 -- announced the new party at a press conference in the capital Ankara.
“We announce the establishment of our party by saying, ‘The future belongs to our nation and to Turkey’,” Davutoglu told reporters.
Emphasizing their mission “to create a democratic and prosperous future” for Turkey, Davutoglu said: “We have suffered a lot over the last three generations, we have seen lots of pain. … However, we have come not to moan about the past, but to create a common future.”
He said the party’s guiding philosophy is “liberalism respectful of traditions,” with its main political principle “protecting and uplifting human dignity” through an inclusive method, and added that their party will adopt “a pluralist versus majoritarian” approach.
Underlining freedom of religion and belief, Davutoglu said their party would work for a liberal, secular and pluralist religion.
On issues faced by Alevi and non-Muslim citizens, Davutoglu vowed to find solutions based on equal citizenship and democratic consensus.
“No religious or secular establishment will be permitted to have a privileged position inside the state,” said Davutoglu, a former academic.
Pledging a society based on “a balance between freedom and security, Davutoglu said a sound counter-terrorism policy is a must for Turkey.
“In this context, rhetoric over terrorism and counter-terrorism must be removed from being a trap that saps Turkey’s energy, damages its social cohesion, and blurs foreign policy flexibility. "
- Gender issues
“Our goal is to ensure that men and women move forward and side by side in all areas of life, not as opposed to each other, but as supporters who give strength to each other,” said Davutoglu.
He went on to say that the Future Party aims to create a social, political, and economic environment in which women can freely make choices about their lives.
Davutoglu also stressed that the new party’s language would be “based on respect for privacy and human dignity.”
- New constitution
Davutoglu said the Future Party puts a special emphasis on the principle of the separation of powers, saying Turkey needs “a new fully democratic, liberal and civil constitution.”
"Without a democratic constitution, Turkey will not have a prosperous and democratic future. Our party champions the idea that a brand-new constitution that our nation deserves needs to be written with the widest possible participation."
Davutoglu said his party will argue for parliamentary system based on “pluralist democracy.”
After an April 2017 referendum gave a mandate for the move, Turkey made the constitutional switch from a parliamentary system of government to a presidential one.
- Foreign policy
Davutoglu, also a former foreign minister, said their main foreign policy principle would be a multi-dimensional peace diplomacy.
He said foreign policy should not be used for the domestic political concerns but shaped by the country’s interests.
"We aim for Turkey to pursue a foreign policy perspective which is based on democratic values, not stuck between global camps, takes geopolitical transformation in the world into account, and does not rely on vicious regional cycles,” Davutoglu said.