Berat Albayrak (born 21 February 1978) is a Turkish businessman and politician. He is the former CEO of Çalık Holding; a former MP; former Minister of Energy and Natural Resources; and current Minister of Finance and Treasury. In 2004, he married the daughter of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Albayrak has been linked to oil production and smuggling in ISIL, and this Wikipedia article about him was one of four that led to the 2017-2020 block of Wikipedia in Turkey.
|Minister of Finance and Treasury|
|Assumed office |
10 July 2018
|President||Recep Tayyip Erdoğan|
|Preceded by||Naci Ağbal|
|Minister of Energy and Natural Resources|
24 November 2015 – 10 July 2018
|Prime Minister||Ahmet Davutoğlu|
|Preceded by||Ali Rıza Alaboyun|
|Succeeded by||Fatih Dönmez|
|Member of the Grand National Assembly|
7 June 2015 – 10 July 2018
|Constituency||Istanbul (I) (June 2015, Nov 2015, 2018)|
|Born||21 February 1978|
|Political party||Justice and Development Party|
Esra Erdoğan (m. 2004)
|Alma mater||Istanbul University|
He joined Çalık Holding in 1999, and was appointed financial director of their US office in 2002 while he studied for an MBA at the Lubin School of Business, Pace University in New York City. In 2004, Albayrak was appointed as the US country manager of Çalık.
Albayrak was CEO of Çalık until late 2013.
Albayrak became a member of the Parliament with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) after the elections of 7 June 2015, reelected in the snap elections of 1 November 2015. On 24 November 2015, he was appointed Minister for Energy and Natural Resources in the 64th Government of Turkey under the premiership of Ahmet Davutoğlu. His tenure as energy minister saw power companies run up billions of dollars in debts as they borrowed cash to fund buyouts and expansion, while government caps on energy prices also eroded their bottom lines; the energy sector thus contributed to the Turkish currency and debt crisis of 2018. He was reelected on 24 June 2018 to parliament under a new constitution.
On 9 July 2018, his father-in-law appointed him as economic chief of his new administration, in charge of a new ministry of treasury and finance, fueling investor unease about competence and orthodoxy of economic policymaking, with the Turkish lira losing 3.8 percent of its value within one hour after his appointment. Consequently, Albayrak had to resign from his position as deputy as the current Turkish constitution does not allow MPs to also be ministers.
ISIL oil sale allegationsEdit
Albayrak has been accused by Russians and the Turkish opposition[who?] of having links to sale of oil by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant through Turkey. The lawyer of Albayrak dismissed the claims saying that "the allegations are totally false and wrongly attributed.” In December 2016, WikiLeaks released over 57,000 emails, from 2000 to 2016, allegedly obtained by RedHack that WikiLeaks stated were from Albayrak's personal emails, and which were alleged to link Albayrak with ISIL oil smuggling. The Independent reported that the emails showed that "Albayrak had intimate knowledge of staffing and salary issues at Powertrans, a company which was controversially given a monopoly on the road and rail transportation of oil into the country from Iraqi Kurdistan", adding that "Turkish media reported in 2014 and 2015 that Powertrans has been accused of mixing in oil produced by Isis in neighbouring Syria and adding it to local shipments which eventually reached Turkey". Albayrak had previously denied that he had any connection to Powertrans. In late 2016, John R. Bass, the US Ambassador to Turkey, said that claims about a Turkish government's involvement in ISIL oil trade were unfounded, citing the official apology issued by the CIA with regards to such allegations in 2014. From April 2017 to January 2020, Turkey authorities blocked access to Wikipedia across the country. In April 2018, it was claimed that this Wikipedia entry on Albayrak stating the alleged oil trade with ISIS was among the four articles which led to Wikipedia ban.
With respect to the global Paradise Papers investigation, Albayrak in 2018 filed defamation lawsuits against award-winning journalist and International Consortium of Investigative Journalists member Pelin Ünker and her newspaper Cumhuriyet, not claiming factual errors or inaccuracies but seeking financial penalties for alleged damage to his reputation, after the newspaper in November 2017 published details on how politicians, multinational corporations and criminals had hidden money offshore and avoided taxes, including Albayrak-managed Çalık Holding and Albayrak's brother Serhat.
- "Berat Albayrak". yeniakit (in Turkish). Retrieved 2019-01-02.
- Will Fitzgibbon (16 July 2018). "Turkish President's Allies In Press Freedom Attack Over Paradise Papers Reporting". International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.
- Çalık Holding, DR. BERAT ALBAYRAK - CEO
- Milliyet, 30 March 2007, Berat Albayrak, Çalık Holding Genel Müdürü oldu
- Gundogan, Dilay (24 November 2015). "Erdogan son-in-law wins key post in new Turkey cabinet". Yahoo. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
- "Turkish PM Davutoğlu forms 64th government of Turkey". Hürriyet Daily News. 24 November 2015.
- "Turkish lira hits record low on Erdoğan policy concerns". Ahval. 11 July 2018.
- "Turkish Lira Slumps as Erdogan Names Son-in-Law as Economy Chief". Bloomberg. 9 July 2018.
- "Bakan olan 4 isim istifa edecek". Cumhuriyet. 10 July 2018.
- "Erdogan's son in law 'linked to Isis oil trade'". The Times. 5 December 2015.
- "Russia accuses Turkish President Erdogan's son-in-law of being 'linked to Isis oil trade'". The Independent. 5 December 2015.
- Christie-Miller, Alexander (5 December 2015). "Erdogan's son in law 'linked to Isis oil trade'". The Times. Retrieved 21 May 2020.
- "RedHackers daunt the Erdogan family". Al Monitor. 30 September 2016.
- McKernan, Bethan (7 December 2016). "Email cache proves Turkish oil minister's links to Isis oil trade". The Independent. Retrieved 7 March 2017.
- "WikiLeaks documents highlight sinister relations between Erdogan and ISIS". ThePressProject. 5 December 2016. Retrieved 2016-12-05.
- "US 'found no involvement of Turkey in ISIL oil trade'". Hurriyet Daily News. AA. 23 December 2016. Retrieved 10 May 2017.
- Ariel, Ben (29 January 2016). "'There's no evidence that Turkey buys oil from ISIS'". Arutz Sheva 7. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
- "Turkish authorities block Wikipedia". BBC News. 29 April 2017. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
- Benjakob, Omer (26 April 2018). "Revealed: The Four Articles That Got Wikipedia Banned in Turkey". Haaretz. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
- "Enerji Bakanı Albayrak'ın mutlu günü". Sabah. Retrieved 12 December 2015.