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Nov 07 2018

Turkey’s troubled economy needs another Kemal Derviş - analyst

Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan have reaped the rewards of the work of former Economy Minister Kemal Derviş and his team following the country’s 2001 crisis, Simon Waldman of the Istanbul Policy Center wrote on his personal site.

Seventeen years later, just before the looming economic crisis and just after Turkey’s June 2018 presidential and parliamentary elections, Erdogan appointed his son-in-law Berat Albayrak as economy minister, without oversight as permitted by the new constitutional changes, he recalled.

‘’He didn’t even keep his previous economy minister Mehmet Simsek who had a pretty decent career in the financial services before entering politics and had worked hard to gain the confidence of international investors,’’ the article noted.

Turkey’s current monetary crisis, which in August saw loss of value in the lira as much as 40 percent, ‘’requires a Dervis,’’ Waldman stressed.

Dervis, who spoke English, French and German, pursued a career at the World Bank before finding himself Vice President of the MENA region and then vice-President for Poverty Reduction and Economic Management, had the skills set and experience to stir Turkey out of trouble.

Short of another IMF bailout, it said, if Ankara is serious about putting the economy right they would enshrine the independence of the Central Bank and take measures to release all foreign nationals under detention, particularly those who could spark a diplomatic crisis with any country with financial clout.

‘’In 2001 Turkey was lucky enough to have someone at the helm of the economy who could lead Turkey out of its difficult mess,’’ the article stressed, noting that the lack of qualified leadership at this time is the reason Turkey’s current crisis appears here to stay.