Erdoğan aide denies claims about resignation of finance minister

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Fahrettin Altun, communications director for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has denied media reports suggesting that the country’s finance minister has submitted his resignation but that Erdoğan rejected it.

Altun tweeted on Friday that Treasury and Finance Minister Lütfi Elvan was still in office and that media reports claiming the opposite were untrue.

He also shared a screenshot from a Cumhuriyet daily report that claimed Elvan had resigned due to the ongoing depreciation of the Turkish lira, high inflation and other financial problems Turkey is facing but that Erdoğan had refused to accept his resignation for the time being. Cumhuriyet also claimed Elvan has been having disagreements with officials who were appointed during the time in office of Berat Albayrak, his predecessor and Erdoğan’s son-in-law. Cumhuriyet said there were plans to put Albayrak in charge of Turkey’s economy again.

Albayrak stepped down in a surprise move last November, citing health reasons, in a statement on Instagram. His resignation was accepted by Erdoğan after hours of silence from the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government and pro-government media outlets.

Albayrak has frequently been blamed for the deterioration of the Turkish economy, with a decline in the value of the Turkish lira, nearly 30 percent in 2020, leading to higher inflation via imports priced in hard currencies.

Elvan has not made any statement regarding the claims about his resignation.

Turks are battling soaring prices as the country’s annual inflation rate rose to its highest in more than two-and-a-half years in October. The central bank, under pressure from Erdoğan to provide more monetary stimulus, has aggressively cut its policy rate in recent months despite the high inflation. The bank’s move has sent the already depreciating lira to record lows, significantly reducing the purchasing power of the currency.

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