Erdoğan appoints himself chief of Turkey wealth fund, son-in-law as his deputy

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan appointed himself chairman of the Turkiye Wealth Fund Management Co. and his son-in-law, Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, as his deputy in a presidential decree published on Wednesday.

Albayrak will also serve as the acting chairman in this complete overhaul of the board and the way members are appointed.

The fund, established in 2016, holds total or part shares of several Turkish public companies such as flag carrier Turkish Airlines, telecommunications company Turk Telekom, public lenders Ziraat Bank and Halk Bank, Turkish Petroleum, Botaş and Borsa İstanbul.

Turkiye Wealth Fund was established in August 2016 to increase the value of Turkey’s strategic assets, contribute to economic growth and actively deepen capital markets by introducing new products. It was not immediately clear whether the fund would retain its status as a joint stock company following the restructuring.

According to the presidential decree, Zafer Sönmez, head of Turkey and Africa for Malaysian investment fund Khazanah Nasional, became the fund’s general manager. Board members now include Hüseyin Aydın, CEO of public lender Ziraat Bank and chairman of the Banks Association of Turkey (TBB), Rıfat Hisarcıklıoğlu, head of the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) and Fuat Tosyalı, the billionaire part-owner of steelmaker Tosyalı Holding and a board member of the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK).

Erdoğan adviser Yiğit Bulut, economics professor Kerem Alkin and Himmet Karadağ, the newly appointed deputy chairman of Halkbank and the fund’s acting chief, are among the departing board members.

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