Babacan vows to dissolve Turkey’s Wealth Fund, calls it an unregulated ‘black hole’

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Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA) leader Ali Babacan has promised to abolish Turkey’s Wealth Fund in the event his party comes to power, the T24 news website reported on Thursday.

“It is a total black hole that is not subject to any regulation, rule or oversight,” Babacan told Karar TV journalists in a YouTube interview. “They [the government] set up a Wealth Fund and started seeking loans.”

Babacan also revealed that during his time as economy minister in ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) governments, he resisted the establishment of the Wealth Fund for five years and that the fund was set up one year after he left office.

The fund, founded by the government in 2016, holds stakes in Turkey’s biggest state-owned enterprises including Turkish Airlines, telecommunications giant Türk Telekom and lenders Ziraat Bankası and Halkbank.

Babacan said the Turkish public does not trust official inflation figures released by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat).

“In economy, there are numbers announced by authorities and then there are the things felt by the public. Over the past few months, it has been like these were from two different countries,” Babacan said. “According to TurkStat inflation is at 11-12 percent. The real economy is what people feel.”

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