The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) has submitted a motion demanding a debate to be held at the parliament's general assembly on April 13 over how the Central Bank burned through $128 billion in forex exchange reserves during former Finance Minister Berat Albayrak's tenure.
The motion also touched upon the prosecutors' recent investigation into CHP officials for the preparation and display of some posters on municipality billboards in the western province of Bursa's Mudanya district that ask “Where is the $128 billion?”
The CHP's motion said that prosecutors have been committing a “Constitutional crime” through their investigation. “It is a Constitutional right of a political party to question where the country's resources are being spent on,” the motion said.
The motion has also touched upon recent reports that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan fired former Central Bank Governor Naci Ağbal from his position after the latter launched an investigation into where the loss in foreign exchange reserves had gone.
The motion said that it is rather “noteworthy” that the Central Bank has not issued a statement refuting these reports.
“Are the allegations that the former Central Bank governor was dismissed from duty because he infuriated the President by wanting to initiate an investigation into the whereabouts of the 128 billion dollars?” the motion asked.
The following questions were listed in the motion: “Where is the 128 billion dollars; to whom has this money been sold or transferred?” and “Where is now the minister who was responsible for the economy at the time that 128 billion dollars were lost? Is disappearing enough to get clear of the responsibility?”
The motion further asked if it was possible that Erdoğan has not been notified of the depletion of the reserves. “If this is possible, what other resources of this country being lost and are at risk of getting lost?” the motion asked.
State-owned banks have sold some $128 billion to stabilize the lira in the last two years, supported by swaps from the Central Bank.
The CHP has repeatedly raised this issue on various occasions, asking the relevant government officials to take responsibility for the current state of the Central Bank reserves. The issue is also grave due to potential huge profiteering that might have taken place in the sales.