Turkish Finance Minister dismisses resignation speculations, refrains from elaborating on economic rift
Turkish Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek denied resignation rumors, journalist Ahmet Acet said on Saturday amid a narrative which said Simsek's stance reflects internal disarray in the face of President Erdogan's economic strategies.
The rumors gained momentum on Friday when Turkish journalist Riza Canpolat claimed to have "verified" information suggesting that Mehmet Simsek had presented his resignation to Vice President Cevdet Yilmaz a few days ago.
The alleged claim had quickly made its way into the forefront of the nation's political discourse, generating discussions across various platforms. However, the Communication Presidency refuted the assertions and labeled them as baseless.
Haber7 columnist Mehmet Acet subsequently took to Twitter and revealed an exchange he had with Minister Simsek. According to Acet, Simsek responded with a single phrase:
‘They fabricated it.’"
However, these rumors are not the only issues shaking Minister Simsek's tenure. Mustafa Balbay, a columnist for Cumhuriyet newspaper, raised concerns about the credibility of economic data released by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TUIK), suggesting that Minister Simsek himself harbors doubts about its accuracy. Balbay's analysis highlights a growing discrepancy between President Tayyip Erdogan and Simsek in terms of their economic perspectives.
Balbay underscored, "Mehmet Simsek predicts that we'll start seeing some improvements around mid-2024, and inflation will decrease. However, Erdogan desires a sense of relief to be felt a few months before the local elections, which are in early 2024, to ensure a successful outcome. Mehmet Simsek, on the other hand, argues that we're entering a phase where results might not be visible for at least a year. This clearly indicates a clash of perspectives."
He further elaborated, "I know that Simsek hasn't been able to execute his envisioned plan. If an economic decision that Simsek disagrees with is imposed and he ends up leaving, Erdogan will likely criticize him for not achieving the desired results. It's as if everyone is at fault except for Erdogan. This narrative aligns with the current economic scenario."