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AFP
November 28, 2020

Erdogan’s son-in-law leaves sovereign wealth fund

World

AFP
November 28, 2020

ANKARA: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s son-in-law quit as the deputy head of Turkey’s huge sovereign wealth fund, completing a fall from grace that began with his surprise resignation as finance minister.

Berat Albayrak had been viewed as Turkey’s second most powerful figure until his chaotic departure from the government at the start of the month. Married to the Turkish leader’s elder daughter, the 42-year-old quit as finance minister in a cryptic November 8 message on Instagram that cited health reasons.

His resignation from the helm of the Turkish economy was ignored by state media for more than 24 hours, until it was formally accepted by Erdogan the next night. Albayrak’s two-year tenure as economy chief saw the lira lose 40 percent of its value against the dollar and the central bank burn though most of its reserves in trying to defend the currency.

His departure was linked to Erdogan’s appointment of a new market-friendly central banker whom Albayrak had strongly opposed. Naci Agbal, the new central bank governor, sharply raised the main interest rate at his first policy meeting last week, helping the lira halt its slide.

Yet Albayrak still held on to his post as deputy head of the sovereign wealth fund, which was created in 2016 and now manages state assets officially valued at $22.6 billion. Erdogan’s office said little about Albayrak’s departure, noting in a one-sentence statement that he "left the board of the sovereign wealth fund of Turkey after asking to take leave".