When requested by its new finance minister last month Turkey Noordeen Nepati provides details of an initiative aimed at halting its decline Turkish lira, Found an original way to explain his strategy.
“I will not give the number now,” he told a surprised TV reporter. “Do you see it in my eyes? What do you see? … Economy shines in my eyes”.
The response was generally unusual for a person chosen by President Tayyip Erdogan to oversee and express the unusual economic policy of lowering interest rates in order to cope with rising inflation and the fall of the Turkish currency.
Six weeks after Erdogan took a top position in the government, merging the finance and economic ministries, the 58-year-old minister has embarrassed markets by commenting on issues ranging from inflation to the US Federal Reserve.
“We have set aside traditional policies and now they are multifaceted,” Nebati told businesses two weeks ago, referring to interest rate cuts that run counter to the prevailing economic theory that higher interest rates are needed to combat inflation.
“We will not follow the path set for us by others, but we will not follow our own path,” he said in several speeches and televised interviews since taking office.
Critics of the government, including opposition politicians and foreign economists, say the move poses a threat to Turkey and that Erdogan has further destabilized markets by appointing Nepati.
“Instead of instilling confidence in the economy, you have taken steps that have stunned everyone,” Nationalist IYI leader Marel Axner told Erdogan. “When our nation is affected, the ‘comet nepotism’ you hold at the helm of the economy speaks shamelessly about the spark in his eyes.”
Even some sources close to the government have expressed concern that Turkey may choose the most marketable person to lead the economy in such turbulent times.
Nebati was not immediately available for comment. Erdogan’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A senior official in Erdogan’s AKP party said Nebati took office when the global economy was in “trouble” and implemented new rules, worked closely with the president and prevented the pound from collapsing.
“Some pessimistic comments are being made and I don’t think Napatti deserves it,” he said.
“Positive Evil Circle”
Nebati has made several impressive statements since his appointment. He incorrectly states that the US Federal Reserve belongs to five families. He added that Turkey had entered a “positive vicious circle”.
When asked about the sharp recovery of the Turkish pound after Erdogan announced last month that deposits would be protected from exchange rate fluctuations, Nepadi stressed that although official figures were significant in December, state-owned enterprises had played no role in the rise.
Central bank data show that its foreign exchange reserves fell by nearly $ 20 billion last month. Although the bank did not announce any dollar sales on the day the pound recovered, analysts say half of the decline in foreign exchange reserves was due to backdoor intervention.
An AKP legislator, Erdogan did not believe the deposit protection plan was clearly explained by Nabati and the government as a whole, and expressed concern that the initial impact of the plan had stalled, even as it pushed the pound.
However he acknowledged that their numbers were not enough to defeat Lukashenko’s government, and said that it was important to remember that inflation would reach its peak this month and would fall to a single digit percentage point before the mid – 2023 election.
Born into an Arab al-Naim family in southern Turkey near the Syrian border, Nepati studied political science and ran a family textile business.
He served on the board of the MUSIAD, an association of religious businesses affiliated with Erdogan’s government, and was a member of parliament for the ruling AKP.
He was appointed deputy minister of finance and economy in September 2018 and served under Erdogan’s son – in – law, Ford Albirak, with whom he is said to have been very close.
He was in office after Albayrak’s dramatic resignation in 2020 and took over as minister last month, following the resignation of Lutfi Elvan, the last key figure to be backed by the Turkish government or the central bank’s traditional economic policy.
Someone in the business community who had been in contact with Nepati during his tenure as deputy minister described him as an “outspoken” and “storyteller” with little financial education.
Nepadi sometimes switched to Albirak during meetings with foreign officials considering investing in Turkey. On one occasion, the businessman said that Nepati “told stories from an early age, avoiding an officer’s questions and answering them,” and the officer left without making any investment commitment.
Source: ΑΠΕ -, Reuters
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