Simsek Quit Reports Based on `Allegation,’ Erdogan Aide Says
(Bloomberg) -- Reports that Mehmet Simsek, Turkey’s deputy prime minister in charge of the economy, has tendered his resignation are currently no more than allegations, according to a spokesman for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Leading newspaper Hurriyet and other Turkish media said that Simsek had resigned following criticism from Erdogan over economic policies. When asked about those reports during his weekly press briefing on Thursday, Erdogan’s spokesman Ibrahim Kalin carefully avoided an outright denial.
“This is, at the moment, an allegation. There is nothing that came to us about this,” he said.
Hours later, Simsek said in a tweet that he was in Istanbul for a meeting with investors and that he’d continue to work for Turkey’s economy "until our last breath.”
Simsek, just as in the case of his predecessor Ali Babacan, is seen as the biggest supporter of economic orthodoxy in the cabinet. Investors see him as a counterweight to the president and his allies, who argue that lowering interest rates will rein in Turkey’s soaring inflation -- an argument that runs against some of the most fundamental assumptions in economics.
The lira, which had depreciated to a record low earlier, was trading 1 percent lower at 4.0378 per dollar at 3:34 p.m. in Istanbul.
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