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Berat Albayrak, Erdoğan’s son-in-law, resigned as Min­is­ter of Trea­sury and Finance three months ago. In need of a break? Fam­i­ly feuds? Fed up with the father-in-law? Go fig­ure.

What­ev­er the rea­son, this did not escape the atten­tion of politi­cians in the oppo­si­tion, always ready to go search­ing for leak­ing bil­lions some­where. And for a Min­is­ter of the Nation­al Trea­sury to bow out just as ques­tions are raised con­cern­ing the Reserve and the 128 bil­lion that melt­ed under the ear­ly win­ter sun, obvi­ous­ly leads to …ques­tions.

Until now, the father-in-law had pre­tend­ed to ignore the issue but under pres­sure from par­lia­men­tar­i­ans and the CHP oppo­si­tion, he had to respond somehow.

Of course, Erdoğan defend­ed his fam­i­ly. Attack­ing his son-in-law means attack­ing me and through me, Eter­nal Turkey in its past, present and future radiance.

That sums up the line of defense, more or less. He chose to deliv­er it on the stage of the 7th reg­u­lar Provin­cial Con­gress of the AKP in Izmir. In this case, no flights toward the moon and the stars, but a return to fundamentals.

Exter­nal ene­mies will not win. Their attempts have already failed in the gulf of Izmir.” This is more or less what he said, in a dis­tant ref­er­ence to “Sèvres”, i.e. those nas­ties who want­ed to invade what was not yet Turkey a cen­tu­ry ago, and today’s nas­ties who want to stran­gle Turkey and keep the gas from gassing away. Giv­ing rise to leaks no doubt, jus­ti­fied as fol­lows: “With the pan­dem­ic, it was nec­es­sary to take pre­cau­tions against finan­cial fluc­tu­a­tions on the inter­na­tion­al scene. Planned and con­trolled cur­ren­cy exchange activ­i­ties took place. All those trans­ac­tions were done accord­ing to mar­ket rules and are per­fect­ly legal. Nei­ther the evap­o­ra­tion of for­eign cur­ren­cy nor unjus­ti­fied gains were involved. Thanks to these cur­ren­cy oper­a­tions, our coun­try man­aged to main­tain its objec­tives on the inter­na­tion­al scene.”

And from there, a segue into the bil­lions that had to be reim­bursed to the IMF. In oth­er words, jus­ti­fi­ca­tions for the son-in-law’s so well-accom­plished mis­sions, while he was also busy han­dling ship nav­i­ga­tion in the Mediter­ranean. We can bet­ter under­stand the poor young man’s need for a rest.

But Erdoğan did­n’t stop there. He was in Izmir, a fief­dom of the CHP so he had to answer those who were attack­ing said son-in-law and, most­ly, who had not been sup­port­ive enough of the “Garê exploit”.

In a learned blend of out­side snide and devi­ous ene­mies with those sup­port­ing “ter­ror­ism”, he took aim at the local scene.

Accord­ing to him, Izmir may be famil­iar with the PKK but still does not under­stand. And since Izmir is not a mod­el when it comes to sup­port­ing the AKP, Erdo­gan spoke direct­ly to his nation­al polit­i­cal oppo­nents of the CHP, denounc­ing them as being accom­mo­dat­ing toward:
“That ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion that kills peo­ple, chil­dren in the womb, moth­ers, grand-moth­ers and elder­ly men with white beards, for close to 40 years. Oooh, CHP, Ooooh Kılıç­daroğlu, have you nev­er vis­it­ed the dis­trict of Diyarbakir? Instead of con­demn­ing the ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion as an hon­or­able posi­tion would dic­tate, you accuse the State, sup­pos­ed­ly tor­ment­ed by the mur­der of innocents.”

There you go, Erdoğan kicked back the ball con­cern­ing the son-in-law and launched into “We, we are every­where, on every one of the ter­ror­ists’ roads”.

And that is very, very expen­sive, as every­one knows. In human lives, but also in sup­plies, ammu­ni­tion, logis­tics, but also in sub­stan­tial sub­si­dies for the “prox­is”, those mili­tias sent to Lybia, devel­oped in Syr­ia, thrown against Arme­nia… A per­ma­nent state of war keeps up the morale in the deep state, solid­i­fies the alliance with the ultra-nation­al­ists, but it costs mon­ey to the car­tel and to the fam­i­ly. Here, this is me talk­ing, and with me a few oth­ers who still think in Turkey, some­thing that both­ers the high­er ups.

We may learn some day if the son-in-law dis­agreed or not on some of the financ­ing, or if he was too greedy at the bar­gain­ing table. But what we do under­stand, is that Erdoğan had to come out of the woods, to avoid the gas leak spread­ing all the way to his own feet.


Translation by Renée Lucie Bourges
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