Ex- economy minister Albayrak filing lawsuit against main opposition CHP

Former Turkish Finance Minister and son-in-law of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Berat Albayrak is preparing to file a lawsuit against Turkey’s main opposition party for allegedly targeting the former finance official, T24 news site reported on Saturday.

The $500,000 lira ($71.000) lawsuit is a response to the Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) anti-Albayrak discourse and the money hoped to be won in damages against the former minister will be donated to the families of the 13 people killed by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in northern Iraq last week, it cited Albayrak’s lawyer İsa Sinan Göktaş as saying.

Göktaş said the lawsuit was in response to CHP’s claims that the Albayrak had depleted the central bank reserves, as well as the campaigns launched to locate the official following his disappearance from the public eye after his resignation.

Albayrak’s surprise resignation announced over social media on Nov. 8 arrived at a rough period in the Turkish economy, which saw the country recovering from a currency crisis in 2018, only to be hit by the coronavirus pandemic. The lira lost 40 percent of its value during Albayrak’s reign, prompting criticism of his stewardship.

Under Albayrak’s leadership the central bank spent tens of billions of dollars of its foreign currency reserves to defend the ailing lira, a development that was highlighted by the CHP.

The CHP was involved in a “perception operation,’’ against Albayrak, his lawyer said, constituting  “the crime of defamation.’’

Göktaş also responded to speculation about Albayrak’s whereabouts, saying he was spending time at home with his family, as “is the case with any Turkish family.’’