Erdoğan fires Turkey’s chief financial crimes investigator

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan fired the head of Turkey’s financial crimes investigations unit.

The dismissal, made with a presidential decree, was published in the government’s Official Gazette on Wednesday.

Osman Dereli was appointed as head of the Financial Crimes Investigation Board (MASAK) in March 2016, during the tenure of former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, who has now formed his own political party. Dereli previously served in senior positions at the Finance Ministry and the Public Oversight, Accounting and Auditing Standards Authority.

MASAK is Turkey’s chief institution in charge of uncovering money-laundering, fraud and other financial misdemeanours. It also freezes the assets of terrorist suspects and investigates the financing of terrorist groups.

Erdoğan did not announce a replacement for Dereli.

In August last year, Sözcü newspaper reported that Dereli had been fired and replaced by Hayrettin Kurt, MASAK’s head of legal proceedings. Sözcü had cited unidentified officials of the Treasury and Finance Ministry for the news.

MASAK is a subsidiary of the Treasury and Finance Ministry, run by Erdoğan’s son-in-law Berat Albayrak.