Turkish finance minister resigns in second surprise departure after lira slide

Turkish Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak attends a news conference in Istanbul, Turkey, April 10, 2019. (Reuters)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Turkish finance minister Berat Albayrak said he was resigning due to health reasons, the second surprise departer of a top economic policymaker in two days after the central bank chief was ousted.

His resignation, announced in an Instagram statement on Sunday (November 8), came a day after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, his father-in-law, replaced the central bank governor with a former minister whose policies are seen to be at odds with Albayrak, according to Reuters.

“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, Reuters reported. Albayrak became finance minister two years after serving as energy minister.

Two sources at the presidency could neither confirm nor deny the statement, Reuters said. A finance ministry official, however, 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.

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