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Politics

Turkey’s Battered Currency Rises After Finance Chief Resigns

November 9, 2020

ANKARA — The Turkish lira firmed against the dollar on Monday a day after the finance minister, who is also the son-in-law to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, announced his resignation on social media.

The lira jumped 5.8% to 8.02 per dollar, even though it was not immediately clear whether Erdogan had accepted Berat Albayrak's resignation and whether a new finance minister would be appointed.

Albayrak, 42, announced on Instagram late on Sunday that he was stepping down from his post for health reasons and would spend more time with his family.

His resignation followed the dismissal over the weekend of central bank chief Murat Uysal and his replacement by former Finance Minister Naci Agbal.

In a statement released Monday, Agbal vowed to "decisively use all policy tools in pursuit of (the central bank's) price stability objective."

"The central bank will assess the current situation, review expectations, monitor developments closely, ahead of the bank's Monetary Policy Committee meeting on Nov. 19," he said.

Albayrak, who has four children with Erdogan's daughter Esra, has presided over a rough period in the Turkish economy. The country was recovering from a currency crisis in 2018 when the coronavirus pandemic hit and Albayrak's stewardship came under much criticism.

The lira currency has lost around 30% of its value since the start of the year, hitting a record low of 8.58 against the dollar on Friday, while annual inflation has hit 11.89%.

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