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Mar 20, 2023
Turkey’s Ex-Economy Czar Simsek to Stay Out of Active Politics, Party Says
(Bloomberg) -- Turkey’s governing party said former economy czar Mehmet Simsek wants to stay out of politics but may be able to contribute to government policies in the future.
“After he left politics, he’s been busy with other things. He has responsibilities in civil society and in the business world. Therefore, he is not considering to be in active politics,” said Omer Celik, ruling AK Party’s spokesman.
Celik spoke to reporters on Monday night after an hour long meeting between Simsek and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the party’s headquarters in the Turkish capital, Ankara. Simsek offered his support to the party “in any area needed,” Celik said.
His remarks bring an end to speculation that Simsek, a former deputy premier and minister of finance, is preparing to join Erdogan’s government at a critical time for the Turkish president. Since Simsek left office following elections in 2018, Turkey has burnt through much of its official reserves, seen lira drop to record lows and inflation get out of control.
Years of unorthodox policies pursued by consecutive ministers under pressure by Erdogan resulted in a cost-of-living crisis that eroded the president’s support base ahead of elections scheduled for May.
Running Turkey’s Economy Is Now a Family Business for Erdogan
Simsek, a former strategist at Merrill Lynch, was largely viewed by investors as a market-friendly face in Erdogan governments since he first assumed office in 2007. During the last few years of his political career, he was seen as a a counterweight to Erdogan’s unconventional policies that prioritized low interest rates and turbo-charged growth at the expense of low inflation and financial stability.
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.
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