Turkey's top treasury official to leave for IMF

ISTANBUL, July 17 Thu Jul 17, 2014 4:04am EDT

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ISTANBUL, July 17 (Reuters) - Turkish Treasury Undersecretary Ibrahim Canakci, a key figure in reducing government debt over the past decade, will leave his post for a position with the International Monetary Fund in November, the treasury said on Thursday.

The media-shy Canakci was appointed to the treasury's top post in May, 2003, and built a reputation among investors as a quiet anchor of stability, helping to bolster Turkey's international credibility.

Turkey's government debt has fallen to around 36 percent of GDP from some 74 percent when Canakci first took office.

He is an ally of Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan, whose prudent economic oversight is seen as a bulwark against Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's pressure for pro-growth policies such as low interest rates despite stubborn inflation.

Babacan's own future is uncertain after parliamentary elections next year because of a three-term limit imposed by the ruling AK Party, raising further investor concern about the future of Turkey's economic management team.

The treasury said Canakci had been appointed an executive director at the IMF and would be Washington-based from Nov. 1.

The executive board is responsible for the day-to-day business of the IMF. It is composed of 24 directors, appointed or elected by member countries, and the managing director, who serves as its chairman, according to the IMF website. (Reporting by Asli Kandemir; Writing by Seda Sezer; Editing by Nick Tattersall and Ralph Boulton)

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