The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has voiced support to Finance Minister Berat Albayrak amid the country’s worsening economy.
Turkey’s lira has dramatically weakened against the dollar on Aug. 6 and 7 amid growing concern that state efforts to stabilize the currency could fizzle and spark bigger problems for the country’s economy.
The deteriorating currency prompted thousands on social media to call on Albayrak, who is President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s son-in-law, to resign, saying that he has been failing at his post.
Ministers and AKP lawmakers, however, defended Albayrak on Twitter via using the hashtag “We stand with Berat Albayrak,” in addition to tweets shared by the party’s trolls.
One of the deputies to voice support to Albayrak was Celalettin Güvenç, who slammed those who called on the minister to resign.
“Horses don’t die when dogs bark,” Güvenç said, referring to the public as “dogs.”
A day later, Erdoğan also slammed those who called for Albayrak to step down.
“Don’t take the slander campaigns against my minister into account,” he said on Aug. 7 following Friday prayers at Hagia Sophia.
Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu wrote on Twitter “One for all, all for Turkey,” along with the hashtag “We stand with Berat Albayrak.”
“Reactions rarely involve proposal. In the new circumstances of the world, those who are under heavy responsibility should be respected. We stand by my struggle comrade Berat Albayrak in overcoming these hard days,” Health Minister Fahrettin Koca wrote on Twitter.
In the face of AKP officials’ support for Albayrak, Felicity Party (SP) vice chair Ömer Faruk Yazıcı said that they would stand by the finance minister only if he would improve the economy and tackle the income distribution.
“If dollar, unemployment, inflation and interest rates are to fall; income distribution is to be tackled; investment, employment, fair distribution and profitability are to increase, then we stand by Berat Albayrak,” Yazıcı wrote on his social media account.