This Jan­u­ary 20, the dai­ly Cumhuriyet revealed under the head­ing “The son-in-law is a whizz at busi­ness” that Berat Albayrak, Min­is­ter of Trea­sury and Finance, and inci­den­tal­ly Erdoğan’s son-in-law, had acquired land on the itin­er­ary of Canal Istanbul.

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Fol­low­ing this, on Feb­ru­ary 13, a cen­sor­ship deci­sion land­ed. Access was for­bid­den to arti­cles in sev­er­al media relay­ing this infor­ma­tion, includ­ing the car­toon from the satir­i­cal mag­a­zine LeMan. An inquest was also opened against jour­nal­ist Haz­al Ocak who revealed the acqui­si­tion by Berat Albayrak, charg­ing her with “insult­ing a pub­lic employ­ee”.

canal istanbul gendre berat albayrak

The arti­cle in Cumhuriyet pro­vid­ed infor­ma­tion giv­en by Berat Albayrak him­self in 2013, on the pur­chase of the land along with anoth­er piece of land by his father Sadık Albayrak in 2003. These lots are in the Boy­alık neigh­bor­hood of Arnavutköy Istan­bul, which is to say in the con­structible “hous­ing zone” on the plans for “Yenişe­hir” (New Town), to be built all around… Canal Istan­bul.

Berat Albayrak’s lawyer pro­vid­ed the fol­low­ing expla­na­tion on the top­ic: “Mis­ter Albayrak’s father had bought a piece of land in this vil­lage in 2003. In 2012, the neigh­bor­ing lot was put on sale. Mis­ter Berat Albayrak bought it, as any cit­i­zen would who has the means to do so, in order to avoid that it fall in for­eign hands. It would be hard to link this pur­chase with the Canal Istan­bul project. This pur­chase has noth­ing to do with Canal Istan­bul.” He also announced that legal means of redress would be sought. There fol­lowed on this dec­la­ra­tion: cen­sor­ship of the infor­ma­tion, pro­hi­bi­tion of access to a num­ber of web­sites that had relayed it, and an inquest against the journalist…

As sup­port, here is the car­toon that made the cov­er page of the Jan­u­ary 22 2020 copy of the satir­i­cal mag­a­zine LeMan, with its translation:

His lawyer con­firms the pur­chase by the son-in-law, Berat Albayrak: “When the lot was put on sale by its own­er in 2012, it was bought by Mis­ter Berat Albayrak, as any cit­i­zen with the means to do so would have done, to avoid it falling into for­eign hands.”

Berat Albayrak:
‑Here, this is very important!
‑And here also!
‑And over here, very very important!
‑Oh, here is very very important!

canal istanbul berat albayrak leman

Translation by Renée Lucie Bourges
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