Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan fired his trade minister on Wednesday after she was accused of granting lucrative contracts to her husband’s companies.
Ruhsar Pekcan’s replacement with powerful AKP ruling party member Mehmet Mus was declared in the official government newspaper without explanation.
However, it came just a few days after posts on the OdaTV website implicating the former minister.
According to the stories, Pekcan awarded contracts for disinfectant products worth nine million liras — more than one million dollars at today’s exchange rate — to two companies owned by her husband.
On Tuesday, Pekcan confirmed the purchase, but claimed that the companies were chosen “in accordance with the rules” and on the basis of price.
Her dismissal comes as public outrage grows over the Turkish government’s handling of the economy during the coronavirus outbreak.
The Turkish lira briefly recovered from record lows against the dollar and euro after Erdogan reshuffled his economic team in November.
However, the lira’s problems reappeared after Erdogan replaced a market-friendly central bank leader with former ruling party lawmaker Sahap Kavcioglu last month in a reshuffle.
Berat Albayrak, Erdogan’s influential yet divisive son-in-law, lost his finance ministry job as part of the November government changes.
Rumours of Albayrak’s impending return to the government, according to economists, have harmed foreign investor trust and weakened the lira.
Erdogan’s decree on Wednesday, on the other hand, only listed the division of the family and labor ministries and the selection of new heads for each.
Erdogan’s ruling party has two new ministers.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN