Erdogan takes control of Turkey’s sovereign fund

The president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan (pictured), has taken the unusual step of appointing himself as chairman of the country’s sovereign wealth fund. He has also appointed his son-in-law, Berat Albayrak, as his deputy.

The fund was established in 2016 to restore market confidence and encourage foreign investment in the country’s economy in the wake of an attempted coup.

However, after taking over the state’s shares in some of the country’s biggest companies such as Turkish Airlines, Turk Telecom and a number of banks, and creating a portfolio worth an estimated $200 billion, the fund has faltered over disagreements in strategy. Its chief executive was sacked last year as a result of disputes.

The president’s move has alarmed some international investors who have become concerned by his authoritarian behaviour. After winning the election in June, Erdogan abolished the prime minister’s role and extended his presidential powers.

Erdogan appears to desire more control of Turkey’s financial institutions as well as its central bank, whose governor has been criticised by international investors for resisting calls to raise interest rates despite inflation being at 18% and the country’s currency losing 40% of its value. Erdogan is a self-confessed opponent of high interest rates.

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