Erdoğan shrugs off criticism of son-in-law, says he will quickly clean up economy

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Despite widespread criticism of his appointment of son-in-law Berat Albayrak as Turkey’s chief economic policy maker, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has voiced full faith in the country’s new treasury and finance minister, saying he will quickly clean up the country’s shaky economy.

Erdoğan, who took the oath of office on Monday to begin his new term as president with expanded executive powers, announced his new Cabinet the same day, the first Cabinet that will work under the executive presidency.

Erdoğan appointed former Energy Minister Albrayrak as the treasury and finance minister in a move that caused disappointment among international investors as well as those in Turkey.

After the announcement of his appointment on Monday, the Turkish lira, already down 17 percent from the start of the year, suffered its biggest one-day slide since a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

“He [Albrayrak] has both practical and theoretical experience in the finance sector. He worked successfully in the private sector. He recently taught this subject at Marmara University. Since he has this kind of background, I believe he will more quickly clean things up [with the economy] and do this job with success,” said Erdoğan.

His remarks came on Wednesday as he was speaking to reporters while returning from visits to Baku and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

Erdoğan also said Turkey’s central bank would be subordinated to the Treasury and Finance Ministry headed by Albayrak.

A presidential decree issued on Monday said the president would appoint the central bank governor, deputies and monetary policy committee members for four-year terms in office.

The head of the central bank had previously served a five-year term, but a decision published in the Official Gazette removed that stipulation and scrapped a requirement that deputy governors must have a decade of experience.

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