Finance and Treasury Minister Mehmet Şimşek of Turkey and Berat Albayrak, the former minister and President Erdoğan’s son-in-law, are reported to be locked in a bitter rivalry.
In AKP circles, a growing rivalry between Mehmet Şimşek, the newly appointed Minister of Treasury and Finance, and former minister Berat Albayrak has been acknowledged. This rivalry stems primarily from Şimşek’s accusations against Albayrak and the recent release of a public sector savings directive.
Following the May 28 elections, AKP President Tayyip Erdoğan entrusted the Treasury to Mehmet Şimşek, despite his previous harsh criticism of the former minister. The surge of significant price increases that ensued immediately after Şimşek assumed office has sparked public outrage and drawn criticism from certain newspapers and journalists known for their proximity to the government.
MEHMET ŞİMŞEK CRITICIZES THE ALBAYRAK ERA
According to a report by Altan Sancar in Diken, it is considered unsurprising within AKP circles for newspapers and individuals associated with Albayrak to express their reactions, particularly against Şimşek. Party members claim that Şimşek’s initial cabinet meeting presentation, in which he highlighted past mistakes and described the consecutive price increases as “a very dire situation, with significant damage caused by past errors,” ignited the rivalry between the two.
YİĞİT BULUT SUPPORTS BERAT ALBAYRAK
Albayrak and his influential team within the bureaucracy have labeled Şimşek’s approach as “accusatory.” This tension has spilled over into the media, with tweets and news articles criticizing Şimşek circulating as prices continue to rise. The strain has escalated to the point where bureaucrats close to Albayrak and Erdogan’s advisor, Yiğit Bulut, have occasionally resisted Şimşek and his team’s decisions.
The tension reached its peak when rumors circulated that an individual, claimed to be unwilling to work with Şimşek, and Central Bank Governor Hafize Gaye Erkan had resigned. However, the claim of the resignation of Emrah Şener, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank and a member of the Monetary Policy Committee, was denied by the Presidency of Communication. It is suggested that this resignation claim emerged due to the perceived unwillingness of Şimşek and Erkan to collaborate with Şener.
THE LATEST SOURCE OF TENSION: “SAVINGS DIRECTIVE”
Among the rumors circulating in AKP circles, the recent cause of tension is attributed to the “public sector savings directive.” Particularly, the reduction of promotional expenses within the public sector has caused discomfort within certain sections of the media. It is known that support, disguised as promotional activities from public institutions, is provided to media groups close to the government, thereby fueling opposition against Şimşek within the media.
While AKP members assert that Erdoğan is aware of this conflict and closely monitoring it, they believe that decisions may be made regarding this matter as local elections draw near.