Get to Know Head of Turkey’s Sovereign Wealth Fund

Turkish media revealed that Arda Ermut the new general manager of the wealth fund is a friend of the president’s son, Bilal Erdoğan, and a former classmate.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, on Tuesday, appointed Arda Ermut as the new CEO of the sovereign wealth fund after the resignation of former CEO Zafer Sonmez.

Ermut resigned from the board of the Turkish Sovereign Wealth Fund in November 2020 and returned to the fund after four months, this time as chairman of the fund.

 He also served as an accountant from 2002 to 2004 under the management of the qartal Imam Khatib Alumni Association.

In addition, the media confirmed that Ermut is a close friend of Bilal Erdoğan, the son of the Turkish president since the stage of study together at the High School of Imams and Preachers in Istanbul, where they graduated together in 1999.

He then graduated from the Department of Political Science and International Relations at the University of Bogazichi in 2004, and began his career as a press and public relations adviser in the Prime Minister’s Office in 2005, where Erdoğan was prime minister.

Ermut served as a member of the Board of Directors of Turkish Airlines, after his father Arda Ermut’s company oversaw the management of Turkish Airlines.

He also held multiple positions within the company, such as Head of Quality Department, Head of Revenue Department, Head of Sales, Director of Purchasing, Director of External Accounts, Director of Marketing, cabin manager, as well as Head of the European Balkan Sales Department.

The resignation of the head of the sovereign wealth fund came just one day after the resignation of Mehmet Hakan Atilla the General Manager of the Istanbul Stock Exchange, who was previously tried in America over Turkey’s Halkbank violation of U.S. sanctions on Iran, which continues to be considered in March.

It is noteworthy that the sovereign wealth fund established by President Recep Erdoğan after the 2016 coup to monitor the Turkish Court of Accounts, a decision that sparked political controversy. Erdoğan took over the presidency of the fund, and appointed his son-in-law the Minister of Finance as his deputy.

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