Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan removed Hüseyin Aydın, the former CEO of state-run Ziraat Bank, from the executive board of the country’s sovereign wealth fund.
Erdoğan replaced Aydın with Alpaslan Çakar, Ziraat Bank’s current CEO, according to a presidential decree published in the Official Gazette on Thursday.
Aydın has been a prominent member of Turkey’s financial community, spending almost a decade as head of the Banks Association of Turkey (TBB) and Ziraat Bank.
The executive stepped down as CEO of Ziraat, the country’s biggest bank, in March, raising speculation among some economists and the media that he may be awarded a ministerial post in a reshuffled cabinet.
Ziraat, Halkbank and Vakıfbank, the three state-run lenders controlled by the wealth fund, have helped Erdoğan and his government engineer a borrowing boom among businesses and consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic. They have also restructured tens of billions of liras of loans otherwise at risk of default.
Erdoğan made himself chairman of the wealth fund, which controls Turkey’s largest state-run companies including Turkish Airlines, in 2018, when he acquired vast new presidential powers and began to take decisions by decree.