Turkey: former deputy PM appointed as finance minister

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has appointed former deputy prime minister Lutfi Elvan as finance minister, to replace Erdogan’s son-in-law who stepped down from the post, according to Turkey’s Official Gazette on Tuesday.

Erdogan accepted Berat Albayrak’s resignation late on Monday — a day after he announced on social media that he was quitting for health reasons and would spend more time with his family.

His resignation, however, followed the dismissal over the weekend of the central bank chief and his replacement by former Finance Minister Naci Agbal. Unconfirmed media reports said Albayrak staunchly opposed Agbal’s appointment,

Albayrak, who has four children with Erdogan’s daughter Esra, presided over a rough period in the Turkish economy. The country was recovering from a currency crisis in 2018 when the coronavirus pandemic hit and Albayrak’s stewardship came under much criticism.

The Turkish lira has lost around 30% of its value since the start of the year, hitting a record low of 8.58 against the dollar on Friday, while annual inflation has hit 11.89%.

The lira firmed against the dollar on Monday, following news of Agbal’s appointment and Albayrak’s departure.

Elvan, 58, served as deputy prime minister between 2015 and 2016. Previously, he also held the posts of minister for development and minister of transportation, maritime affairs and communication.

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