Turkey appointed former Deputy Prime Minister Lütfi Elvan as its new treasury and finance minister, the country’s Official Gazette said Tuesday.
The move comes after Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak resigned late Sunday, citing health concerns, and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan officially accepted his resignation Monday.
Elvan, 58, served as deputy prime minister between 2015 and 2016. Previously, he also held the posts of minister for development and minister of transportation, maritime affairs and communication.
He has been serving as chairperson of Parliament's Planning and Budget Committee.
“It was a surprise for me as well,” Elvan told reporters Tuesday at the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM) in the capital Ankara.
“I spoke to Mr. Berat. There will be no handover ceremony due to the minister’s health problem,” he said, thanking the former minister for his service to the nation to date.
Elvan was elected into the TBMM in the 2007 general election as a Justice and Development Party (AK Party) deputy from central Karaman province. He was reelected in Parliament in the 2011 general election.
Elvan has a bachelor's degree in mining from Istanbul Technical University's (ITÜ) Faculty of Mines, a master's degree in mining operations and research from Leeds University in the U.K. and a second master's degree in economics from U.S.-based Delaware University.
He also held different positions at international institutions such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the European Union.
“I have decided not to continue my ministry duty that I have been holding for five years. From now on, I will spend more time with my father, mother, wife and children, who have always supported me during this time,” Albayrak said on his Instagram account on Sunday.
“My successors will firmly and confidently continue to march toward our Big and Strong Turkey aim under the leadership of our president,” he added.
“As a result of the evaluation by our president, Finance and Treasury Minister Berat Albayrak’s request to resign has been accepted,” the presidency’s Communications Directorate said in a statement, adding that Erdoğan admired what it said were Albayrak’s successes in his two-year tenure as finance minister.
Albayrak, a former energy and natural resources minister, was appointed to lead Turkey’s Treasury and Finance Ministry in July 2018. He completed his master's degree at New York’s Pace University in finance and holds a Ph.D. in the financing of renewable energy resources. As energy minister, Albayrak accomplished a great number of projects that aimed to reduce Turkey’s dependency on external resources, particularly with innovative solar and wind power projects that attracted foreign investment.
Under his supervision, Turkey’s national energy and mining policy which relied on three principles – indigenization, predictability and security of supply – was prepared and introduced. Turkey also proactively resumed its exploration activities in the Black and Mediterranean Seas and bought its first drilling ship during his tenure.