Former Industry Minister Nihat Ergün resigns from ruling AKP

Former Minister Science, Industry and Technology Nihat Ergün has resigned from Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP), joining a group of other politicians that have parted ways with ruling Islamist party over the last few months.

Ergün said his decision to resign, effective Sept. 13, followed "extensive consultations’’ with family and friends, independent news site T24 reported on Tuesday.

"I would like to thank all of my friends in the AKP who I worked with to produce politics, and beneficial services for our country and nation,’’ Ergün said. 

Ergün’s is the latest in a string of resignations from President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruling AKP, which suffered its greatest defeat in its 17 years in power in the March local elections.

AKP lost five of Turkey’s most populous provinces to the main opposition secularist Republican People’s Party (AKP), including capital Ankara and financial-hub Istanbul.

Former Prime Minister Davutoğlu and former deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan are among the ex-AP heavyweights who parted ways with the AKP earlier this year amid what analysts are calling a fracturing within the party. Both are expected to establish new political movements.

Ergün, who served as minister between 2011-2013, is expected to join the AKP rival party to be established by Babacan, T24 said.