Another Son-in-law in the News: Turkey’s Albayrak
Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak resigned on Sunday, citing health and other personal reasons. His resignation comes during a trying time for Turkey’s economy – the lira has fallen by 30% against the US dollar since the beginning of 2020 – and just a day after the sacking of Murat Uysal, governor of Turkey’s Central Bank. Albayrak, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s son-in-law, served for two years as finance minister, during which time the country suffered a 2018 currency crisis and a severe recession. For three years prior, he was energy minister. It is not yet known if Erdogan has accepted the resignation. On Friday, another Middle Eastern son-in-law made headlines when the US blacklisted Gebran Bassil, who heads Lebanon’s Free Patriotic Movement, a mostly Christian party, for alleged corruption. Married to the daughter of President Michel Aoun, Bassil denies the claims and says the sanctions are due to his close ties to Hizbullah. An agreement between the Free Patriotic Movement and Hizbullah – the only party in Lebanon outside the army and police that is allowed to arm itself – has given the latter, considered a close proxy of Iran and a virulent enemy of Israel, immense political and military sway.