Former minister Albayrak surfaces after 6 months out of sight

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Former finance minister Berat Albayrak, who is also the son-in-law of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, made an appearance in public for the first time since his unexpected resignation from office in early November, with a photo of him attending Friday prayers circulating on social media today.

Albayrak’s disappearance without a trace after his resignation led to widespread speculation as well as jokes as to his whereabouts.

In a surprise move on Nov. 8, Albayrak stepped down, 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 said the former minister moved overseas, while others claimed he was in seclusion in his Black Sea hometown of Trabzon.

After an absence of six months, a picture of Albayrak at the recently built Çamlıca Mosque in İstanbul was shared on Twitter, with a user commenting, “I will give the location to people who are asking where Berat Albayrak is. He was in the Çamlıca Mosque, İstanbul, attending Friday prayers.”

Albayrak, who was appointed finance minister in 2018, 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.

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