Former Finance Minister Albayrak spotted on vacation in Paris

Former Finance Minister Berat Albayrak has been spotted while visiting Paris with his family, drawing citizens' condemnation at a time when the Turkish Lira is valued at more than 11 to $1.

Duvar English

Former Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, who is also the son-in-law of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has been spotted on vacation in Paris together with his family.

Photos shared on social media showed Albayrak in front of  Sacré-Coeur, one of the most iconic monuments in Paris.

"Look at who my friend who was roaming about Paris came across! Berat Albayrak who had said 'Are you getting your salaries in dollar, do you have anything to do with dollar?' is now crushing the euros on Paris streets. And citizens are thinking how they will make ends meet," lawyer Enes Kabadayı wrote on Twitter and shared the relevant photos. 

As the photos were circulating on the same day that the Turkish Lira sunk to a new low against the U.S. dollar, valued at more than 11 to $1, they drew severe reaction on Twitter.

Several comments were made on the satirical web-based dictionary Ekşi Sözlük under the title of “Berat Albayrak's Paris vacation.”

It is not yet known when the photos were taken.

Albayrak resigned from the Treasury and Finance Ministry with a statement on his Instagram account in November 2020, citing health issues. After his resignation, Albayrak was seen only a couple of times in the public arena.

Although Albayrak was previously seen as the most second powerful public figure after Erdoğan, he completely disappeared from the public arena following his resignation.

In December, Turkish Twitter users started to ask about his whereabouts, with even the hashtag of #BeratAlbayrakNerede (Where is Albayrak) going trending. At the time, there were even speculations that he moved abroad.

Before his resignation, Albayrak was often front-and-center of major political developments, with many suggesting that he was being groomed to eventually replace Erdoğan, despite no mention of such plans.

Albayrak's resignation came amid escalating fallout over Turkey's collapsing economy and plunging currency. Since then, the former minister has not made any public comments.

Turkey's lira suffered one of its worst days in three years on Nov. 18 after the central bank defied warnings of a full-blown currency meltdown and rocketing inflation, and slashed interest rates by 100 basis points.

Erdoğan takes the unorthodox view that lower rates are the only way to curb inflation. Not only has he seemingly got his way this time, but his central bank chief hinted at another cut next month.

Economists warn Turkey now risks even higher inflation - 30% potentially - and full currency meltdown unless the course changes and rates are raised.