A columnist for Turkey’s secular-nationalist opposition paper Sözcü on Saturday repeated his claim that Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım will be replaced by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s son-in-law and Energy Minister Berat Albayrak.
Columnist Can Ataklı wrote that his argument, which was first published in Sözcü on Thursday, is based on a rumor and that there is no way to prove rumors until they become reality. Ataklı also mentioned his past prediction that the previous prime minister, Ahmet Davutoğlu, would be removed, which came true when Yıldırım was installed in the position. He also said he did not know that another columnist, Ahmet Takan, who is famous for his access to insider information in Ankara, had posited a similar argument before him.
On Oct. 11, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu had accused the country’s prime minister, Yıldırım, of sharing his authority with Albayrak, the energy minister and son-in-law of President Erdoğan, saying that there are actually two prime ministers in the country.
Speaking at his party’s parliamentary group meeting, Kılıçdaroğlu said: “An energy conference is being held. The prime minister is not around. There are two official prime ministers; one of them is the de facto Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, the other is the shadow prime minister, Berat Albayrak. Esteemed Mr. Yıldırım, act in line with the requirements of your position; don’t share your authority with others or you will lose prestige.”
Many think that Albayrak is acting as Erdoğan’s man in the Cabinet. Erdoğan was the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) leader until his election to the presidency in August 2014.
In September Turkish Marxist–Leninist-Maoist group RedHack had hacked the email account of Albayrak, and the leaks revealed the extent of his influence on critical political matters from energy to relations with the media and lobbying activities abroad even before he became a deputy in Parliament.