Erdoğan’s son-in-law steps down as finance minister, citing health reasons

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AFP PHOTO

Berat Albayrak, the son-in-law of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has quit his job as the country’s finance minister, citing health reasons, according to a statement on his verified Instagram account on Sunday.

The unexpected resignation of Albayrak came shortly after Erdoğan dismissed the head of Turkey’s central bank, Murat Uysal, and replaced him with former finance minister Naci Ağbal as the Turkish lira hit record lows over the last few weeks.

Albayrak, 42, who has been serving as Turkey’s treasury and finance minister since July 2018, said in his resignation statement: “I have decided that I can no longer continue to carry out the tasks of minister as I have for the past five years due to health reasons.” He said he would spend more time with his family.

Albayrak served as the country’s energy minister between 2015 and 2018.

Albayrak has frequently been blamed for the deterioration of the Turkish economy as the Turkish lira’s decline in value, nearly 30 percent so far this year, has led to higher inflation via imports priced in hard currencies. Prices have also remained elevated due to an increase in borrowing and rising food prices, leading the country’s central bank to raise its year-end inflation forecast last week to 12.1 percent from 8.9 percent.

It was not clear whether Erdoğan would accept Albayrak’s resignation.

In April the Turkish president refused to accept the resignation of Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu, who wanted to quit due to the controversial way in which his ministry declared a 48-hour curfew against the COVID-19 pandemic that prompted many to start panic buying.

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