Turkey's main opposition 'aims to make Erdoğan's son-in-law Albayrak return to politics'

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's son-in-law and former Finance Minister Berat Albayrak might return to politics as an official in the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Sözcü columnist Deniz Zeyrek said on Feb. 24. Albayrak's resignation prompted an immediate uptick in finances in November, followed by him completely disappearing from the public eye.

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The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) has an agenda to keep the president's son-in-law and former Finance Minister Berat Albayrak on the political scene, and rumors have been circulating around Ankara about potential positions that Albayrak could take up, Sözcü writer Deniz Zeyrek said on Feb. 24.

The main opposition is using President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's soft spot for his family to provoke him into bringing back Albayrak, who resigned via an Instagram post in November and proceeded to completely disappear from the public eye.

Albayrak's vanishing from the public was widely interpreted as the government blaming the recent financial depression the country is experiencing on the son-in-law, and it was widely assumed that Albayrak went missing for the political benefit of his father-in-law. 

"The CHP wants Albayrak to return to the political scene, because that allows the public to blame Albayrak, and in turn, Erdoğan," Zeyrek said. 

There are rumors that Albayrak will become the deputy leader of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Zeyrek noted, as well as the possibility that he becomes the energy minister or foreign minister.

"Erdoğan is exactly where the CHP wants him because he's talking about Albayrak. He praised Albayrak's 'successes' at the cost of conflicting himself and his advisors," Zeyrek noted.

The president recently said that Albayrak's title of son-in-law "unfortunately overshadowed his successes."

"The CHP knows that such statements hold no weight anywhere outside of the AKP's cemented voter base, since Albayrak's mere resignation led to the immediate and visible uptick in finances," Zeyrek noted.

Many AKP officials have told Zeyrek that the president could in fact bring Albayrak back to an official position if the CHP keeps pressing the matter, even though his resignation was welcome by all ranks of the government.

Meanwhile, AKP spokesperson Ömer Çelik said that the CHP was acting immorally by continuously bringing up Albayrak's family ties to the president and that a political scene where the actors bring others' families into the rhetoric would be indignant.