Turkey’s Erdogan replaces finance minister as lira crashes

International

A woman changes Turkish lira for USD and Euro at a currency exchange shop, in Ankara, Turkey, Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021. The Turkish currency weakened by nearly 10% against the U.S. dollar Tuesday, a day after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan insisted there would be no turning back from his unconventional policy of cutting interest rates despite high inflation. The lira plunged to a record low of 13.44 against the dollar before recovering some of its losses. It was trading at 12.51 against the dollar in the late afternoon — down 9.9% from Monday’s close. The currency was trading at 14.08 against the euro. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan appointed a new treasury and finance minister early Thursday after Lutfi Elvan stepped down from the post as the currency has been tumbling to record lows.

Erdogan named Nureddin Nebati, who was deputy minister, to the post, according to an announcement published in the Official Gazette. It said Elvan asked to be “pardoned from the job” and that his request was accepted.

His resignation comes as the Turkish lira has been plummeting to successive all-time lows over concerns about the government’s economic policy, following a series of cuts in borrowing costs despite soaring inflation. The Turkish currency has lost about 40% of its value since the start of the year.

Erdogan strongly argues that high interest rates cause inflation — contrary to conventional economic thinking — and has made clear that the country would press ahead with rate cuts.

The president has dismissed three central bank governors since 2019 over differences on interest rates.

Nebati, 57, has a doctorate in political science and public administration.

“May God make it easy, not difficult. My God, help bring things to a beneficial conclusion. Give us truth in our work, make us successful,” Nebati wrote on Twitter after his appointment.

Elvan himself had replaced Erdogan’s son-in-law, Berat Albayrak, who resigned last year.

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