Erdogan’s Son-in-Law Quits as Economy Chief in Chaotic Weekend

Erdogan’s Son-in-Law Quits as Economy Chief in Chaotic WeekendErdogan’s Son-in-Law Quits as Economy Chief in Chaotic Weekend

Berat Albayrak, the son-in-law of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, unexpectedly resigned as the country’s economy czar a day after the central bank governor was fired, igniting fresh political and economic turmoil in a nation already facing a currency meltdown.
Albayrak, 42, cited unspecified health reasons for his decision to step down as finance and treasury minister, according to a statement posted on his verified Instagram account on Sunday. 
The announcement came a day after Erdogan replaced central bank governor, Murat Uysal, with former finance minister, Naci Agbal, a critic of Albayrak’s economic management, Bloomberg reported.
If Erdogan accepts the resignation of his son-in-law, it could pave the way for a dramatic shift in economic policy, as well as a political realignment in the ruling party. 
Albayrak was widely viewed as being groomed to be a potential successor for Erdogan, who has led Turkey as prime minister or president since 2003.
The lira surged as much as 1.7% against the dollar in early trading on Monday, indicating investor optimism that the changes might presage a return to economic orthodoxy. 
Albayrak’s term was characterized by mostly-futile efforts to control the value of the currency without resorting to raising interest rates, in line with Erdogan’s widely discredited view that higher interest rates lead to higher inflation. Most economists think the opposite is true.
His assertive management and family ties to the president had won him gravitas in the ruling party, but also many critics, both in the political system and among investors, who came to see Turkey less as a free-market economy and more as a hybrid, managed economy under his stewardship. 
Albayrak previously served as minister of energy for three years until he took over the treasury and finance portfolios in 2018. He has been married to Erdogan’s older daughter Esra since 2004.
The weekend’s first bombshell—the decision to fire the central bank chief—was driven by Erdogan’s frustration with the use of tens of billions of dollar reserves in a failed effort to prop up the lira, according to numerous officials familiar with the matter. 
That policy was executed by the central bank with strong backing from Albayrak’s ministry, the people said.

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints