Interview with Former Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu “Parts of the Government Are Mafia-Like”

As prime minister, Ahmet Davutoğlu was one of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s closest allies. In an interview, he now accuses the Turkish president of driving his country into the ground.
Interview Conducted By Sebnem Arsu und Maximilian Popp
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu says: "Leaders are at their weakest when they think they are particularly strong."

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu says: "Leaders are at their weakest when they think they are particularly strong."

Foto: Arif Hudaverdi Yaman / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images
Ahmet Davutoğlu says corruption "is more rampant than ever" in Turkey.

Ahmet Davutoğlu says corruption "is more rampant than ever" in Turkey.

Foto: Bradley Secker
DER SPIEGEL 22/2021
SPIEGEL International
Davutoǧlu (center) during his interview in Antakya with Sebnem Arsu and Maximilian Popp of DER SPIEGEL

Davutoǧlu (center) during his interview in Antakya with Sebnem Arsu and Maximilian Popp of DER SPIEGEL

Foto: Bradley Secker / DER SPIEGEL
"Anyone who calls me a puppet doesn’t understand Turkish politics."
Davutoğlu during a trip across Turkey to generate support for his party: "The Turks have an enormous yearning for democracy and the rule of law. I feel that every day when I travel through the country."

Davutoğlu during a trip across Turkey to generate support for his party: "The Turks have an enormous yearning for democracy and the rule of law. I feel that every day when I travel through the country."

Foto: Bradley Secker / DER SPIEGEL
"There is no one left in this government who is capable of handling a crisis like the one we are experiencing."
Erdoğan and Davutoğlu in 2014: "My aim was never to topple Erdoğan."

Erdoğan and Davutoğlu in 2014: "My aim was never to topple Erdoğan."

Foto: Rasit Aydogan / Pool / picture alliance / dpa