Turkey Economy Czar Albayrak Quits, Adding to Government Turmoil

Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, the son-in-law of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, unexpectedly resigned on Sunday, throwing the government’s management of the economy into further confusion soon after the central bank chief was fired and the lira hit a record low.

Albayrak, 42, cited health reasons for his decision to step down from his role as the government’s economy czar, according to a statement posted on his verified Instagram account.

“I decided not to continue my duty as a minister after five years in office due to health reasons,” Albayrak said in thestatement. “I’ll spend my time with my mother, father, wife and kids, whom I have neglected for many years out of necessity.”

A spokesman at the ministry confirmed the authenticity of the Instagram announcement to Bloomberg, asking not to be named in line with government policy.

The minister’s resignation follows Erdogan’s abrupt decision on Saturday to sack central bank Governor Murat Uysal and appoint 52-year-old former Finance Minister Naci Agbal to the post.

Agbal is known for his opposition to Albayrak’s policies over the last two years, a period when the lira lost nearly half of its value against the dollar.

During Albayrak’s two-year stint as finance minister, inflation usually hovered in double digits, compared with the government’s official target of 5%. Turkey’s state lenders unsuccessfully tried to support the lira with unannounced interventions in foreign-exchange markets, where they are estimated to have sold tens of billions of dollars.

Albayrak served as the minister of energy until he took over the government’s top economy position in 2018.

— With assistance by Kerim Karakaya

Source: Read Full Article