Turkey's Erdogan steps back from McKinsey deal after opposition outcry

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey would not get advice from management consultancy McKinsey & Co., cancelling the deal announced by his son-in-law and Ministry of Treasury and Finance Berat Albayrak, following opposition parties’ criticism that the economy’s reins were being handed over to foreigners, Cumhuriyet reported late Saturday. 

“I’ve told our ministers that no advisory services should be received,” Erdogan said in a televised speech in Ankara on Saturday. “There’s no such need. We are enough for ourselves.”

Erdoğan's comments came after an outcry from opposition parties that hiring McKinsey meant the government is forced to seek Western help in the face of economic turmoil.

Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of Republican People’s Party (CHP), on Saturday asked whether Finance Minister Albayrak would maintain his seat over Ankara’s deal with the U.S. consulting firm. 

Later on Saturday, Erdogan appeared to have scrapped the deal. 

"This person (Kilicdaroglu) is trying to corner us by asking questions about a consultancy firm that has been paid in full to help our economic management," Erdogan told members of his ruling party and announced that the deal was dropped. 

Following the Turkish President's statements, Murat Emir, a member of parliament for the Republican People’s Party (CHP), asked vice president that who would pay the compensation when the deal with McKinsey is cancelled.

Emir offered that the payment should be paid by Finance Minister Berat Albayrak.

Last month, Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said Turkey had decided to work with McKinsey to help implement a new medium-term economic programme.

The announcement from Albayrak came under fire from the country’s main opposition for siding with U.S. firms at a time when Turkey is suffering a financial crisis to due to a diplomatic row between Ankara and Washington over the detention of U.S. pastor, among other issues.