Erdoğan appoints himself as head of Turkey's wealth fund

Erdoğan has appointed himself chairman of the country's sovereign wealth fund and completely changed its board
Wednesday, 12 September 2018 17:57

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Wednesday appointed himself the chairman of Turkey's sovereign wealth fund and named his son-in-law and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak as deputy chairman.

The $50 billion-worth wealth fund (TVF) was set up in 2016 by the AKP government. The government has transferred to the TVF stakes worth billions of dollars of state assets, including stakes in flag carrier Turkish Airlines, major banks and fixed-line operator Turk Telekom.

Zafer Sönmez, who was head of Turkey and Africa for Malaysia's sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional Bhd, was named as the fund's general manager in presidential decrees published in the Official Gazette. 

One of Erdogan's advisors, Yiğit Bulut, was removed from the board, while new members included Rifat Hisarcıklıoglu, the president of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB).

Erdoğan said last September the fund was to be reorganised after dismissing its chairman over its failure to meet targets.