Erdoğan's son-in-law resigns as Turkey's finance minister
Turkish Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak announced he would be resigning from his post for unspecified health reasons, in a statement over Instagram on Sunday.
The minister wrote that he wanted to spend more time with his family, who he said he neglected during his five years in government service.
Albayrak, who is President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's son-in-law, is the second official with responsibilities for handling Turkey’s economy to leave the government in two days. On Saturday, the president fired Murat Uysal, the governor of Turkey's central bank.
There was initial speculation that Albayrak's account had fallen victim to a cyber-attack when the Instagram post appeared. A Twitter account associated with Albayrak was locked which furthered this speculation.
However, Turkish journalist İsmail Saymaz said that the rumour was true, citing pro-government sources.
Şayet bir siber saldırı değilse Maliye ve Hazine Bakanı Berat Albayrak’ın İnstagram hesabından istifası yayınlandı. Ancak Berat Albayrak’ın Twitter hesabına erişilemiyor. pic.twitter.com/9E2lkBdpuR— İsmail Saymaz (@ismailsaymaz) November 8, 2020
Two spokesmen for Albayrak told Bloomberg the Instagram account from which the statement was made was genuine, although they refused to say whether they could confirm the decision or not.
It remained unclear whether or not Erdoğan would accept his son-in-law's resignation. Some members of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) expressed hope over Twitter that Albayrak's resignation would be rejected.
"Our minister, Mr. Berat Albayrak, took part in a very difficult process," AKP Vice Chairman Mehmet Mus said on Twitter. "We hope that the President will continue his (Albayrak's) duty with his approval."
Bakanımız Sayın Berat Albayrak çok zor bir süreçte görev üstlendi.— Dr. Mehmet Muş (@mehmedmus) November 8, 2020
Kendi ayakları üzerinde duran milli bir ekonomi için önemli adımlar attı.
Özverili çalışmalarına bizzat şahidiz.
Cumhurbaşkanımızın da tensipleriyle görevinin başında devam etmesini temenni ediyoruz.
Deputy Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Omer Fatih Sayan praised Albayrak's work towards reaching economic targets that were set and said that he hoped his resignation would be rejected.
"Our country, our nation and our ummah need you," Sayan said on Twitter.
Berat Albayrak yerli, milli olarak enerjide yaptıklarını ancak anlayanlar ekonomide de Ülkemizin 2023 hedeflerime ulaşması için sayısız hizmeti hayata geçirdiğini göremezler.— Dr. ÖMER FATİH SAYAN (@ofatihsayan) November 8, 2020
İstifanın kabul edilmeyeceğini ümit ediyorum.
Ülkemizin, Milletimizin ve Ümmetimizin size ihtiyacı var. pic.twitter.com/4omPdkdkWC
Sources close to the AKP told the Financial Times that Albayrak did not see always see eye-to-eye with the newly appointed central bank chief Naci Agbal, a former finance minister known to have more mainstream economic views that are welcomed by international investors.
A spokesperson for the Republican People's Party (CHP), the main opposition party in Turkey, remarked that "the family fight is ruining the economy".
"The country is in an economic crisis," CHP spokesperson Faik Öztrak said on Twitter, adding that it was still unknown as to whether Albayrak resigned or not which only hurt the economy further.
"Our nation does not have to suffer the whims of the one-man regime," he said.
Ülke ekonomik buhranda. Saatlerdir Hazine ve Maliye Bakanı istifa etti mi belli değil. Aile kavgası ekonomiyi batırıyor. Milletimiz tek adam rejiminin kaprislerini çekmek zorunda değil.— Faik Öztrak (@faikoztrak) November 8, 2020
The Treasury Ministry and the Presidency did not immediately comment on Albayrak's decision.