How about direct takeover of his country's sovereign wealth fund?  President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has appointed himself chairman of Turkey's sovereign wealth fund after recent promises to exert greater influence over the economy.

Bloomberg reports the bombshell, but not entirely shocking latest news in Erdogan's long struggle to control everything under the sun: Zafer Sonmez, head of Turkey and Africa for Malaysia's government investment vehicle Khazanah Nasional Bhd, was named general manager.

Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, Erdogan's son-in-law, will also sit on the board, according to a decree published in the Official Gazette.

Why keep up the charade of even signing paperwork anymore?  Funny enough it doesn't appear Erdogan is comfortable with even his own adviser, Yigit Bulut, overseeing the fund as confirmed in FT's quip: “The changes to the sovereign wealth fund sidelined one of the president's own advisers, Yigit Bulut, who is renowned for once claiming that Mr Erdogan's enemies were trying to kill him through telekinesis.” Among the newly Erdogan-hand picked board members, per Bloomberg, are Rifat Hisarciklioglu, head of the Turkish chambers of commerce; Huseyin Aydin, head of the banking association and Ziraat CEO; Arda Ermut, the head of Turkey's investment support and promotion agency; Erisah Arican, a professor and member of the Borsa Istanbul board; and businessman Fuat Tosyali.

Murat Cetinkaya, the central bank governor, has caused dismay among international investors by resisting calls to raise rates even as inflation has soared to 18 per cent.

Categories: ZH