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Erdogan son-in-law takes Finance Ministry post with promises, hush orders

Turkey’s newly re-elected President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has promoted his son-in-law in law to finance minister among other steps to tighten control over the country's economic policies.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan's son-in-law and newly appointed Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak (L) and Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu stand next to each other during a presser at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey July 9, 2018. REUTERS/Umit Bektas - RC1A333464E0

Just when you thought he couldn’t get any more audacious, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan put his son-in-law in charge of the country’s finances and issued new decrees that will radically reshape the way the country is run within hours of being sworn in on July 9 for a second term.

Berat Albayrak, the previous energy minister, will be in charge of the Treasury and Finance Ministry, replacing the market-friendly Mehmet Simsek in the new Cabinet, where Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu will retain his post. Markets reacted negatively to news of Simsek’s exit with the Turkish lira slumping to 4.7488 to the dollar, a more than 3% drop, amid worries that Albayrak will bow to his father-in-law’s unconventional views on the economy. Erdogan believes that high interest rates fuel inflation and has bullied the Central Bank to keep them down, allowing contractors to borrow cheaply and help sustain high growth.

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