Erdoğan reappoints 2 bureaucrats dismissed by former minister, son-in-law Albayrak

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (L) and former Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak. AFP PHOTOS

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has reappointed two bureaucrats to new positions after they were dismissed from the Treasury and Finance Ministry by his son-in-law Berat Albayrak, in the wake of his surprise resignation as Turkey’s finance minister, the Cumhuriyet daily reported on Saturday.

Ali Karatürk, the former assistant general director of the ministry’s Directorate General of Budget and Fiscal Control, was appointed on Friday by President Erdoğan to the Court of Account’s Prosecutor’s Office.

Muammer Çolak, who was also removed by Albayrak from his position as general director of the National Lottery Administration, was reappointed by the president as a prosecutor for the Court of Accounts.

Erdoğan’s move to reappoint Karatürk and Çolak, who were removed from office back in January when Albayrak was serving as the country’s finance minister, came in the aftermath of his son-in-law’s abrupt resignation that sent shockwaves through Turkish politics last week.

Albayrak, who had headed the country’s economic team since July 2018, when Erdoğan appointed him upon his re-election as president with vast new powers, on Sunday announced via his Instagram account that he was stepping down from the position for reasons of health.

The resignation of 42-year-old Albayrak, married to Erdoğan’s daughter Esra, was not reported by Turkey’s mainstream media, which has long acted on Erdoğan’s orders, until an official statement was made by the presidency in the evening hours of Monday in which it was announced that Erdoğan had accepted Albayrak’s resignation.

Critics claimed that Erdoğan prevented the country’s state-run Anadolu news agency from covering Albayrak’s resignation in order to prevent him from gaining public support for him to remain in his position.

Dissidents also said the resignation, which came amid record-breaking declines in the value of the national currency and an exploding budget deficit, points to a larger internal crisis within the government of Erdoğan, who, unlike his predecessors, systematically promoted his family members to a wide range of positions of power in the bureaucracy, in media and in civil society.

Albayrak was reportedly angered at a decision by the president to appoint Naci Ağbal, the president’s head of strategy and budgetary affairs, as the country’s new central bank governor after firing his predecessor on Saturday, a day before the minister’s resignation. He and Ağbal were known to have clashed over economy policy.

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