Erdoğan son-in-law on his way out in Turkish cabinet reshuffle - columnist

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is mulling a cabinet reshuffle that could mean an exit for his son-in-law, Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, a Turkish columnist said on Monday.

Intense speculation about the reshuffle was triggered last week when Erdoğan held back-to-back meetings with three ministers, said Abdulkadir Selvi, a columnist known for his insider sources in the ruling party.

The rumours have been fuelled by the long absence of Albayrak, a key figure in the government who has made only rare public appearances in months, Selvi said.

Political circles in Ankara have said the cabinet changes are likely to be made at a meeting of the ruling party’s central executive committee on Sept. 18. Five or six ministers could face the axe, Selvi said. But a ranking party official told Selvi the reshuffle would come in two or three months.

Albayrak was put in charge of Turkey’s economy after national elections in June 2018. Since then, the minister has launched a series of economic programmes to tackle the country’s severe economic downturn.

But none of these programmes have achieved their targets and Albayrak faced stiff criticism earlier this year over his poor performance at meetings with foreign investors.

The economic situation is seen as a factor in the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)’s poor performance in local elections last March, and there has been speculation since that Erdoğan would change the man in charge of the economy.