Erdoğan’s son-in-law writes book on economy amid claims of poor performance as minister

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Berat Albayrak, Turkey’s former finance minister and son-in-law of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has written on a book on economy and energy that will go on sale on Friday, according to a publishing house.

Turkuvaz Book, a subsidiary of Turkuvaz Media Holding, which has close ties to Erdoğan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), announced on Twitter on Monday that Albayrak’s book, titled, “Burası Çok Önemli” (This is very important) will be available in bookstores on Friday.

Turkuvaz Book also posted a photo of the front page of the book that says, “From energy to economy, a fully independent Turkey.”

The price of the book is TL 40 (around $3).

Albayrak served as Turkey’s energy minister between November 2015 and July 2018. He was subsequently appointed finance minister. He has frequently been blamed for the deterioration of the Turkish economy when a decline in the value of the Turkish lira, nearly 30 percent in 2020 under his ministry, led to higher inflation via imports priced in hard currencies.

The promotional bulletin for Albayrak’s book says: “I can definitely say that we have crossed the bridge. Yes, as the Republic of Turkey, we have crossed the bridge… Not long before we reach the year 2030, we will enter a period with the strongest economy and level of welfare. With its great heritage dating back in history…with its geopolitical and geostrategic position at the crossroads of three continents…with its consolidated regional and global experience, particularly in the last 20 years…with its strong leadership…From transportation to the defense industry, with the solid infrastructure and capacity it has built from economy to energy… Turkey will be one of the most important countries to demonstrate this vision.”

Albayrak resigned from his position at the finance ministry, a surprise move in November 2020, citing health reasons, in a statement on Instagram. His resignation was accepted by Erdoğan one day later after hours of silence from the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government and pro-government media outlets.

After his resignation, Albayrak was not seen in public for months, leading to widespread speculation.

Albayrak’s book comes at a time when the rising cost of living has become a major source of public discontent as Turks have been shaken by the highest inflation over the past two decades, 54.4 percent in February.

As the Turkish lira lost 44 percent of its value against the dollar in 2021, Turks have seen a sharp decline in their purchasing power, and protests are taking place across the country against the high cost of living and energy bills.

The title of Albayrak’s book is a reference to a phrase he used frequently during a presentation about a new economic model he introduced in August 2018 to a group of businesspeople in İstanbul. Many found Albayrak’s presentation lacking in content and said it showed how unqualified he was for the post of finance minister.

E-mails allegedly belonging to then-Energy Minister Albayrak, which were released by Wikileaks in December 2016, led to claims that the former minister had one of his professors at an İstanbul university write his Ph.D. thesis.

An email dated Sept. 27, 2010 showed a professor at Kadir Has University, Professor Erişah Arıcan, telling Albayrak that she had finished most of his Ph.D. thesis, asking him to fill in some missing parts and proposing they write the conclusion together.

Albayrak received his Ph.D. in 2009 after submitting his thesis on the subject of renewable energy resources in electricity production and their financing.

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