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Erdoğan to appoint son-in-law Albayrak to new position in palace, journalist claims

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President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has made up with his son-in-law, Turkey’s former finance minister Berat Albayrak, and plans to appoint him to a new position at the presidential palace within two weeks’ time, according to Turkish journalist Levent Gültekin.

“I’ve recently heard that Erdoğan is planning a cabinet reshuffle. The son-in-law [Albayrak] will also be appointed to a new position along with that in 10 to 15 days,” Gültekin said during an interview on opposition television station Halk TV on Thursday.

On Nov. 8 Albayrak unexpectedly announced that he had stepped down from the position of finance minister, citing health reasons, in a statement made public on Instagram.

The resignation of the 42-year-old Albayrak, married to Erdoğan’s daughter Esra, was not reported by pro-government media outlets, and officials from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) remained silent about it until President Erdoğan accepted his departure on Nov. 9.

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 a day before Albayrak’s resignation. He and Ağbal were known to have clashed over economy policy.

Albayrak has not appeared in public since then, leading to widespread speculation regarding his whereabouts.

Some claimed the former minister had moved abroad, while others said he was in seclusion in his Black Sea hometown of Trabzon.

Among those who questioned Albayrak’s whereabouts was human rights activist Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, who is also a member of the Turkish Parliament from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).

The lawmaker is known for frequently bringing up the issue of missing persons and the victims of enforced disappearances and helping the families find their loved ones.

“Where is the son-in-law? For years, I have been busy with the cases of missing persons and victims of enforced disappearances. Son-in-law Berat Albayrak has been missing for two months. If an application is filed [to find him], I get things started in my capacity as a deputy. We don’t discriminate,” Gergerlioğlu said in a tweet earlier in January.

Albayrak, who was appointed finance minister in 2018, has frequently been blamed for the deterioration of the Turkish economy, with a decline in the value of the Turkish lira, nearly 30 percent in 2020, leading to higher inflation via imports priced in hard currencies.

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