Turkish finance minister resigns in second surprise departure after lira slide

Turkish finance minister resigns in second surprise departure after lira slide

Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said on Sunday he was resigning for health reasons, the second surprise departure of a top economic policymaker in two days after the central bank chief was ousted.

The upheaval follows a 30% slide in the lira to record lows this year amid the coronavirus pandemic as investors worried about falling forex reserves and the central bank’s ability to tackle double-digit inflation.

Albayrak’s resignation, announced in an Instagram statement confirmed by an official, came a day after father-in-law President Tayyip Erdogan replaced the central bank governor with a former minister whose policies are seen to be at odds with Albayrak.

“I have decided that I cannot continue as a minister, which I have been carrying out for nearly five years, due to health problems,” the statement said. Albayrak became finance minister two years ago after serving as energy minister.

Two sources at the presidency could neither confirm nor deny the statement when reached by Reuters, but a Finance Ministry official confirmed its authenticity.

Albayrak, 42, was appointed energy minister in 2015 and shifted to finance after Erdogan was re-elected with sweeping new executive powers in 2018.

During his tenure at finance, Turkey’s economy was hit by two bad slumps, double-digit inflation and high unemployment. The lira has lost around 45% against the U.S. dollar since his appointment and is the worst performer in emerging markets this year.

investing.com

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