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President Erdogan appoints himself head of Turkey’s sovereign wealth fund

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has appointed himself chairman of Turkey’s sovereign wealth fund, the Official Gazette said on Wednesday. Erdogan also completely changed the fund’s board, naming Finance Minister Berat Albayrak as his deputy. The revamp was the latest in a series of steps Erdogan has taken to assume new powers since he won a presidential election in June, heralding the move to an executive presidency, Reuters said. The $50 billion-worth wealth fund (TVF) was set up in 2016 by the government to develop and increase the value of Turkey’s strategic assets and provide resources for investment. Erdogan appointed as the fund’s general manager Zafer Sonmez, head of the Turkey regional office of the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional. 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.