Turkish Finance Ministry dismisses former minister Albayrak’s deputies

Two out of three deputy ministers working under former finance minister Berat Albayrak were removed from office, newspaper Cumhuriyet reported on Saturday.

Deputy ministers Osman Dinçbaş and Bülent Aksu were dismissed, while Nureddin Nebati, a former lawmaker for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), remained in his position.

Cumhuriyet said Nebati had been in the news for having a photo with Fethullah Gülen -the Muslim cleric who lives in self-imposed exile in the United States and was a close ally of the AKP until Ankara accused him and his followers of having orchestrated several attempts to overthrow the AKP government, including a failed coup attempt in July 2016.

Another former AKP deputy and deputy chairman responsible for the economy, Cengiz Yavilioğlu, was appointed to replace Dinçbaş. Yavilioğlu had served as deputy finance minister for three years until Albayrak took office in 2018.

Former chairman of the Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) Şakir Ercan Gül was appointed to replace Aksu.

Berat Albayrak, who is married to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s daughter Esra Erdoğan, resigned from public office in November via a message posted on his Instagram account. The Groom, as he is often referred to in Turkey, then disappeared from the news completely and commentators speculated that he had left the country to live in Britain or the United States.

Journalist Fatih Altaylı said in a column in early January that Albayrak spent time with his father in the northeastern Trabzon province, then left for Qatar for a week, and has been in Istanbul since. The former minister is planning to establish a consultancy firm in Turkey’s megacity, according to Altaylı.

Following Albayrak’s resignation and a change in central bank management the day before, a wave of optimism led to the Turkish lira recovering 15 percent of its value lost in 2020, ending the year with a 24 percent depreciation.