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Where is the money? Erdogan feels the heat over foreign reserves drain

Turkey’s government goes on the defensive as the main opposition presses for answers on how the central bank ended up with negative reserves.
Customers stand by the desk at a currency exchange office, in Ankara, Turkey on February 5, 2021. - Turkey's central bank is to decide interest rate on February 18, 2021. (Photo by Adem ALTAN / AFP) (Photo by ADEM ALTAN/AFP via Getty Images)
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Turkey’s main opposition has mounted an emphatic campaign calling the government to account on why the central bank burnt through $128 billion in foreign reserves in “back-door” hard currency sales that began in early 2019, when President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s son-in-law presided over the economy. The campaign has forced Erdogan on the defensive, raising a slew of questions about the legality of the sales and who benefitted the most from them. 

The issue is grave not only because of the pathetic state of the central bank reserves today, but also the huge profiteering that might have taken place in the sales.

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