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Turkey’s former finance minister Albayrak resigns from Wealth Fund

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Former Finance and Treasury Minister Berat Albayrak, a son-in-law to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has resigned from his position as the deputy chair of the Turkey Wealth Fund state asset management company following his resignation from the government earlier in November.

“The seats on the board of directors of the Turkey Wealth Fund held by Berat Albayrak and Arda Ermut, who requested to be excused from their posts, have been terminated,” a statement released by Turkey’s Communications Directorate said on Friday.

The statement also announced that Erdoğan, who chairs the Turkish fund, had appointed Ahmet Burak Dağlıoğlu as a new member of the board.

Dağlıoğlu, who had been serving as head of Turkey’s presidential investment office since February, is a graduate of the Kartal İmam Hatip High School, which also claims the Turkish president’s son Bilal Erdoğan among alumni who have done well in the Turkish bureaucracy under the Justice and Development Party (AKP) governments.

Ermut, who also resigned from the board, served as head of the presidential investment office before being replaced by Dağlıoğlu.

The Turkey Wealth Fund was set up by the government in 2016 as the national sovereign wealth fund to develop the value of Turkey’s strategic assets and provide investment resources.

In 2018 Erdoğan appointed himself chairman of the fund and named his son-in-law Albayrak as his deputy as part of a series of steps he took to consolidate new powers since he won June 2018 presidential election.

Albayrak’s resignation as treasury and finance minister came amid escalating fallout over Turkey’s collapsing economy and plunging currency on November 8, a day after Erdoğan replaced the governor of Turkey’s central bank.

Dissidents said the resignation points to an crisis within the government of Erdoğan, who, unlike his predecessors, systematically promoted his family members to a wide range of positions of power in the bureaucracy, media and civil society.

Economist Emin Çapa noted that the replacements on the Wealth Fund board marked the beginning of an operation against Albayrak’s team.

Albayrak “was rumored to have made high-level appointments in all but three ministries and to have been very influential. Let’s see where this will go,” Çapa tweeted Friday.

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