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Turkey’s Erdogan appoints new finance minister amid lira meltdown – Reuters

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a news conference after his meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel (not pictured) at Huber Mansion in Istanbul, Turkey October 16, 2021. REUTERS/Murad Sezer/File Photo

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ISTANBUL, Dec 2 (Reuters) – President Tayyip Erdogan appointed Nureddin Nebati as Turkey’s minister of treasury and finance early on Thursday, accepting the resignation of Lutfi Elvan, the last top official seen to adhere to orthodox policy in a government gripped by a currency meltdown.

The appointment, announced in Turkey’s Official Gazette, follows the lira crashing 27% in the last month alone. The lira hit a series of historic lows over the direction of economic policy.

Nebati was a deputy minister of treasury and finance and studied international relations, political sciences and public administration, according to his resume on the ministry website.

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Elvan, a former deputy prime minister and longtime member of the ruling AK Party, held the finance post for just over a year after having replaced Berat Albayrak, Erdogan’s son-in-law.

The lira , which had weakened as far as 13.87 to the dollar earlier in the day, ended the session at 13.40 following the appointment. It lost more than 44% of its value against greenback this year.

The departure marks the latest in a rapid turnover at top economic positions including Erdogan’s abrupt firing of three central bank governors in the last 2-1/2 years, moves seen to have battered the credibility of policymaking.

Economic analysts said mismanagement and policy uncertainty have left inflation stuck in double digits, official foreign reserves low and the lira has shed two-thirds of its value in four years, by far the worst in emerging markets.

As the central bank shifted in September to a dovish stance, Elvan was seen as one of the last ministers who might convince Erdogan to reconsider given what analysts see as the bank’s tattered credibility.

The uncertainty over the new economic model in which Erdogan endorsed further interest rate cuts despite soaring inflation pushed the central bank intervention on Wednesday to stabilize volatile currency first time since 2014. read more

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Reporting by Ezgi Erkoyun and Daren Butler; Editing by Grant McCool and Alistair Bell

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.