Turkey's natural gas find in the Black Sea has turned into a personal promotion of Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, Future Party leader Ahmet Davutoğlu has said, as he criticized the minister over the current downfall of Turkish Lira.
During a speech on Aug. 23, Davutoğlu slammed the press conference held by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to announce the find on Aug. 21, saying that Albayrak was given too much credit.
"It's against the morals of a state to make such a find, which made all of us happy, become a personal promotion of a minister that destroyed Turkey's economy," Davutoğlu, who is also the former prime minister, said.
"When we left [the ruling Justice and Development Party], lira was at 2.80 against the dollar. Now they're trying to keep it at 7 and present it as if it's a success. Someone needs to be held accountable for the lira's loss of value," he added.Turkey expects big drop in gas imports after Black Sea find
Davutoğlu also criticized President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan over appointing his son-in-law as the finance minister, saying that the only reason for why Albayrak is a minister is "nepotism."
Erdoğan announced the discovery of a 320 billion cubic metre (11.3 trillion cubic feet) gasfield on Aug. 21 that could come on stream as soon as 2023 and said Turkey was determined to become a net energy exporter.
If the gas can be commercially extracted, it could transform Turkey's dependence on Russia, Iran and Azerbaijan for energy imports, which cost the country $41 billion last year.
Any reduction in Turkey's energy imports would also boost government finances and help ease a chronic current account deficit that has helped drive the lira to record lows against the dollar.Five facts about Turkey’s gas discovery in Black Sea