(The Reference) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s son-in-law, Berat Albayrak, is entangled in a number of major corruption cases.
Last year, an Iranian court looked into a case of corruption involving some Iranian businessmen, a Turkish businessman and a number of Turkish government officials. The National Iranian Oil Company accused Albayrak of stealing Iranian oil money.
At one of the hearings in the same case, the representative of the company accused Erdogan’s son-in-law of stealing the oil money, instead of handing it over to the Turkish treasury.
The representative revealed that Iranian oil money was taken and used in the purchase of an aluminum factory that was registered in the name of a woman. He added that the money was also used in the purchase of a company for Albayrak.
Last year, the Corruption Perceptions Index unveiled what it described as enormous corruption in Turkey, amid fears that Erdogan’s iron grip on Turkey would cause this corruption to increase even more.
Albayrak is 40 years old. He is married to Erdogan’s eldest daughter since 2004. His influence grew noticeably in Turkey in the past few years, both within the Turkish regime and also inside the ruling Justice and Development Party.
Before getting married to Erdogan’s daughter, Albayrak worked as the manager of the Turkish company Calık Holding. He bought the widely-read pro-government newspaper, Daily Sabah, for $1.5 billion. He also bought the news channel, after getting a loan of $750 million from a number of Turkish banks. In 2015, Albayrak ran in the parliamentary elections as part of the lists of the Justice and Development Party and won a seat. A few months later, he took over the energy and natural resources portfolio in the Turkish government.
In December 2016, the British newspaper, The Independent, referred to what it described as “strong evidence” that Albayrak was involved in business deals with the Islamic State group. It added that the son-in-law of the Turkish president was linked to a Turkish company that bought oil from the terrorist organization which controlled a number of oil wells in both Iraq and Syria then. However, the Turkish government denied this.
Russia accused Erdogan’s family of doing business with the Islam State group by buying oil from it. In late 2016, the Russian deputy defense minister said Erdogan’s son and his son-in-law bought oil from the group and that this oil ends up in Turkey.