Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said he is stepping down because of health reasons and to spend more time with his family.
“After serving in ministerial posts for nearly five years, I took the decision not to continue my duty [as finance minister] due to health issues,” Albayrak, who is also the son-in-law of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said on Sunday.
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He added he would spend more time with his family whom he said he “neglected” during his political life, according to a statement on his Instagram account.
The resignation was confirmed by officials at the finance ministry, broadcaster HaberTurk reported.
Albayrak, 42, is married to Erdogan’s elder daughter Esra and has been finance minister since 2018. He was energy minister before that between 2015 and 2018.
Albayrak has presided over a rough period in the Turkish economy. The country was recovering from a currency crisis in 2018 when the coronavirus pandemic hit and Albayrak’s stewardship came under much criticism.
Whether the resignation will be accepted by Erdogan is not known and Turkish officials have not made any statements on the development yet.
When Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu resigned earlier this year, Erdogan refused to accept it and Soylu remains in his post today.
Albayrak’s resignation comes a day after Erdogan sacked the central bank governor after the Turkish lira lost 30 percent of its value against the United States dollar since the start of the year.
The new governor is former finance minister Naci Agbal who replaced Murat Uysal, who was only in the role for 16 months.
Uysal was sacked by a presidential decree on Saturday, as his predecessor Murat Cetinkaya was in July 2019.
The departure of Turkey’s top two economic policymakers boosted the lira.
Deputy Transport Minister Omer Fatih Sayan said on Twitter he hoped Albayrak’s resignation would be rejected, adding “our country, our people and our community need you”.
Mehmet Mus, the deputy parliamentary group chairman for Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party, or AKP, said Albayrak had taken important steps to strengthen the economy and he hoped Erdogan would not accept the resignation.
“We personally witnessed his diligent work. If our president sees fit, I hope he continues at his post,” Mus said on Twitter.
During Albayrak’s two years as finance minister, Turkey suffered a currency crisis in 2018, a recession afterwards and the lira hit multiple record lows against the dollar this year.
Timothy Ash, an emerging markets analyst at BlueBay Asset Management, questioned whether Albayrak’s health was the real reason for him quitting and suggested a “purge of Albayrak and his team”.