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Lira slides as Erdogan defends former minister’s economic policies

In response to criticism from the opposition, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has defended the record of his son-in-law and former finance minister, sparking a 1% slide in the Turkish lira Monday after weeks of steady gains.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) poses with the parliamentary member candidate Turkish Energy Minister Beraat Albayrak (L) on May 29, 2018 in Istanbul during an electoral meeting presenting candidates for the upcoming parliamentary elections. - Turkey holds snap parliamentary and presidential elections on June 24. (Photo by OZAN KOSE / AFP)        (Photo credit should read OZAN KOSE/AFP via Getty Images)

ISTANBUL — Following a five-week rally that saw Turkey’s lira rise 7% against the dollar since the start of the year, the currency slid Monday, losing about 1% amid a political spat in which Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan defended the record of his son-in-law and former Finance Minister Berat Albayrak.

The shakeup comes after Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) ran a social media campaign last week criticizing Albayrak for overseeing a steep drop in Turkish foreign exchange reserves over his two-year tenure, which ended abruptly with his resignation in November. The CHP claimed Albayrak, who has remained largely out of public sight since stepping down, spent nearly $130 billion in reserves to support the lira against an economic downturn sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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