Around 7.00 p.m. on November 8th 2020, a statement with the title “To the public attention” was shared in the official Instagram account of the Minister of Treasury and Finance, Berat Albayrak. In the statement, Albayrak announced that he is stepping down from his position that he has been holding for the past five years, because of some health issues. Even though a simultaneous statement from his Twitter account was expected, his Twitter account was deactivated. Soon suspicious information started to disseminate on social media and news sites. The announcement was allegedly due to the cyberattacks.
"To the public attention
Due to my health issues, I have decided that I will no longer continue with my ministerial duty which I have been continuing for almost five years. In the coming periods, I will spare my time to my mother, father, wife and children who have never withheld their support from me, whom I have obligately neglected."
Berat Albayrak’s Twitter account is deactivated as of November 9th 2020, 10 a.m.
After Albayrak announced that he is stepping down, it was claimed on social media that this could be a cyber attack. The post said that this information was shared from Berat Albayrak's Twitter account. However, when previous posts from Albayrak’s account are examined, it is clear that there has not been such a post posted on the account. As of November 9th 10 a.m., the account belonging to Albayrak is still deactivated.
"I regret to announce that I have been subject to a malicious cyberattack. Necessary statements will be made shortly."
In a similar post, it was claimed that the Ministry of Treasury and Finance announced that Albayrak’s social media accounts have been hacked. A tweet, coming allegedly from Sputnik Turkey was referred as the source for this claim. However, the tweet that claimed to be shared from Sputnik’s official account belongs to another user. The official account of Sputnik is @sputnik_TR. When the username of the account is examined, it is seen that it says Spuntik instead of Sputnik.
"Ministry of Finance: Dear Minister's social media accounts have been hacked. A resignation is out of the question. Our investigation on the matter continues. To the public attention"
The picture that claimed to show the list of a new council of ministers is photoshopped
After the statement was shared on the Instagram Account of the Minister of Treasury and Finance, Berat Albayrak, the claims of a change in the council of ministers became a topic of conversation. According to the claims in social media and news portals, the names of the provisional cabinet was included in the list titled “Presidential Decree.”
In the list, Berat Albayrak was claimed to be the new Vice President, while the general director of İş Bankası, Adnan Bali is taking Albayrak’s post. However, this list was shared back in June 2020 with the claims of a revision in the cabinet. The unofficial list may have been created by using the list of ministers, which was published in the Legal Gazette (TC Resmi Gazete) in 2018. Moreover, there are no details in the document, such as the resolution number.
Adnan Bali denied the claims of him taking Berat Albayrak’s position
After the photoshopped list of the Council of Ministers went viral, it was also claimed that the general director of İş Bankası, Adnan Bali stated that he accepted the post of minister.
"I would like to cordially release to the public that I am appointed to the position of the Minister of Treasury and Finance."
However, the images showing Bali’s post on his Twitter account were also photoshopped. Bali does not have a Twitter account. In addition, Bali made a statement in his LinkedIn account and said the posts from the accounts made under his name were ungrounded.
"The statements made using my name by fake accounts are ungrounded. I have no accounts on social media except LinkedIn."
The Directorate of Communications declared on the statement that was published on November 9th 2020 at 10.00 p.m. that the resignation of Albayrak is accepted by President Erdoğan.