February 1, 2014 - 12:13 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - One more lawmaker resigned from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on Friday, Jan 31, in the aftermath of the massive graft probe that has gripped the country since mid-December, Hurriyet Daily News reports.
Istanbul MP Muhammed Çetin officially resigned over the party’s decision to dispatch him to the disciplinary board with a demand of expulsion two weeks ago.
With Çetin’s resignation, the number of lawmakers who have stepped down from the AKP since the graft scandal broke rises to six, and to eight since the test prep school (dershanes) row erupted, in a wave of defections unprecedented in the party’s history.
The government’s move to shut down the test prep schools caused a huge rift between the AKP and the movement of the Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, which further swelled after the government accused the movement of orchestrating the graft probes.
Çetin, who was among the small group of AKP deputies who criticized the government’s position on the test prep schools (dershanes) row, is also known to be close to Gülen’s movement.
He claimed that more resignations from the AKP would follow. “I don’t have any contact with anyone, but I know there is [disquiet] inside [the party]. Many people are disturbed. People are talking, and soon those people will quit one-by-one,” Çetin said. He also claimed that some deputies complained that they could not "face their electors" anymore.