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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Erdogan Begins Era as Sultan by Appointing Son-in-Law Finance Minister

Freshly re-installed as President of Turkey complete with new powers - there will be no looking back for Erdogan. He has removed most people and weakened most institutions that might inhibit his growing power, and is surrounding himself with family and friends who encourage him in his quest to become Caliph.

Turkey’s markets panic as Erdogan appoints
son-in-law as finance minister

Istanbul, Turkey © Murad Sezer / Reuters

Investors in Turkey were not impressed by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s decision to appoint his son-in-law Berat Albayrak as finance minister on Monday.

Borsa Istanbul 100 Index was down 2.78 percent at 5pm local time (14:00 GMT) on Tuesday.  The Turkish lira dropped three percent on the news, but rebounded slightly on Tuesday. The lira is down 17 percent this year.

Investors are worried that, with the appointment of Albayrak and dismissal of some top finance ministers, there will be no-one left to temper Erdogan’s economic views.

“Albayrak will have to move very quickly to reassure financial markets – and will need to send a signal that he will listen,” said Timothy Ash, senior emerging markets sovereign strategist at Bluebay Asset Management, in a Twitter post.

After the election victory, Erdogan removed Mehmet Simsek, previous deputy prime minister and a former Merrill Lynch banker, as well as former Finance Minister Naci Agbal. Erdogan has been often criticized by investors for weakening the power of the central bank and interfering in its decisions.

Erdogan has weakened the power of many government institutions and assumed that power onto himself. Turkey is becoming more autocratic by the day and Erdogan is an intense Muslim. How long before he begins to increase the power of Islam in Turkey? Probably not long!

Turkey has been one of very few Muslim countries where Christians are safe, but Turkey has had a secular government for the past one hundred years. Erdogan has been working for more than a decade to replace secular-minded politicians and military leaders with strong Muslims. I fear Turkey will not be a safe place for Christians much longer.

The appointment of Erdogan’s son-in-law “will worry a number of investors and some of the markets, because they didn’t much enjoy dealing with Albayrak when he was the energy minister,” Peter Westmacott, who served as former British ambassador to Turkey from 2002 to 2006 told CNBC.