Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has accused the country’s main opposition party of attacking him over his son-in-law Berat Albayrak, who resigned as the country’s finance minister in November and has not been seen in public since.
Albayrak stepped down in a surprise move on Nov. 8, citing health reasons, in a statement on Instagram. His resignation was accepted by Erdoğan on Nov. 9 after hours of silence from the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government and pro-government media outlets.
Since then, no one has heard from Albayrak nor has he been seen in public. Some say the former minister moved abroad, while others claim he’s in seclusion in his Black Sea hometown of Trabzon.
The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) is among those curious about Albayrak’s whereabouts, frequently asking Erdoğan and the AKP what happened to Albayrak.
Erdoğan broke his silence about Albayrak in a video message at a party meeting on Monday, saying: “The CHP and its friends are waging a campaign over Berat Albayrak targeting my entire family and me. Berat’s bad luck was his title of ‘son-in-law,’ which overshadowed his experience, efforts and success in all the posts he served in. The strategies developed by Berat during his time at the energy ministry made Turkey’s strides in the field of energy possible.”
Erdoğan said the opposition parties were unhappy because of Albayrak’s successes.
Albayrak served as Turkey’s energy minister between November 2015 and July 2018. He was subsequently appointed finance minister. Albayrak has frequently been blamed for the deterioration of the Turkish economy as a decline in the value of the Turkish lira, nearly 30 percent in 2020, led to higher inflation via imports priced in hard currencies.
The lira began to gain value against the US dollar following Albayrak’s resignation.
In the meantime, Albayrak’s lawyer Sinan Göktaş announced last week that Albayrak would file a TL 500,000 ($70,000) lawsuit against the CHP due party officials’ statements about him. The lawyer said his client was spending time with his wife and children following his resignation.