Opposition calls for parliamentary investigation over central bank chief ousting and profiteering rumors

Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) has requested a parliamentary investigation to find out who profited off the unexpected firing and replacement of Central Bank Governor Naci Ağbal.

A board shows the currency exchange rates outside an exchange office in Istanbul on March 22.

K. Murat Yıldız / Duvar English 

The Republican People’s Party (CHP) has asked the government how much public money was lost and who profited between the time of the announcement of interest hike on March 18 and the removal of the Turkish Central Bank (CBRT) governor on March 20. They have called for a parliamentary investigation into the foreign currency transactions that occurred within that 48 hours.

Some of the comments and questions deputies asked as part of their parliamentary inquiries include: “The Turkish economy is going through its worst period in the history of the Republic;” “Who bought foreign currency during this fluctuation period?;" and "Who turned this crisis into an opportunity?” 

CHP Istanbul MP Gürsel Tekin, who led the move and was supported by 15 other MPs who signed the request for a parliamentary investigation, noted in the inquiry that the CBRT governor has changed 3 times in the last 20 months and that this has caused anxiety and distrust among investors, leading to an increase in the exchange rate, arguing that some people have profited off this development.

Tekin and the other 15 signatories of the inquiry pointed out that it is the duty of the parliament to audit public institutions on behalf of the public and that it should urgently answer the questions regarding this matter.

Within the inquiry, it was requested that a parliamentary investigation be initiated to determine who profited off this recent decision to change the CBRT governor and to reveal the extent of the public loss and the measures to be taken in reponse.

“A one-kuruş (1/100 TL) depreciation of the lira against foreign currencies results in an increase of 4 billion 310 million liras in Turkey's gross external debt," the inquiry noted.

Authoritarian kleptocracy

“There are those who were informed beforehand that the Central Bank Governor would be dismissed. Even certain journalists wrote about the dismissal before it happened. It was reported to the public that 450 million dollars were collected on Friday and traded. Who knew Ağbal would be dismissed and collected those dollars? Who leaked that information? They have to explain these questions to the nation. Turkey’s Grand National Assembly's task is to find out who leaked this information to certain individuals and circles,” MP Tekin told to Duvar English.

“These recent developments since March 18 have proven once again that the regime in Turkey is an authoritarian kleptocracy,” he concluded.