(Bloomberg) — Turkish authorities have extended their campaign against perceived political enemies into the $750 billion financial industry.
Eleven former senior executives of non-state banks told Bloomberg News they were dismissed in the past two years on orders from banking regulators, who are overseen by Berat Albayrak, the president’s son-in-law, who has been treasury and finance minister since July 2018.
Fearing further repercussions, all spoke on condition of anonymity — except one. “It’s time for me to speak up,” said Kerim Rota, 55, who is turning to politics as a member of the opposition now that his three-decade run, capped by his role as deputy chief executive officer of Akbank TAS, is over.
To report this story, Bloomberg reviewed, and followed up on, two years of stock-exchange filings by the 30 biggest non-government banks in Turkey. The disclosures are required for changes at the level of chairman, CEO and deputy CEO.
The government and the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency, known as the BDDK, dismissed the bankers’ claims, calling them “unacceptable.” Policy makers led by Albayrak have said that their management helped Turkey recover from a targeted financial attack in mid-2018, when the lira weakened as much as 45% against the dollar.
Two senior government officials say the stewards of the economy are looking to eliminate what they call economic “traitors” in both the public and private sector, especially in the…