Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan greets his supporters as he is flanked by Prime Minister Binali Yildirim (R) during an opening ceremony in Mersin, Turkey, February 3, 2017. Kayhan Ozer/Presidential Palace/Handout via REUTERS
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The Turkish government has ordered the transfer of billions of dollars in state assets to a sovereign wealth fund, in a huge shake-up of holdings aimed at financing ambitious infrastructure projects championed by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.The assets being transferred to the sovereign wealth fund range from wholly state-owned Ziraat Bank, the government's minority shareholding in flag carrier Turkish Airlines as well as smaller firms like the state tea-making company.Officials have said the fund aims eventually to have a value of $200 billion (187 billion euros).Turkey is following in the steps of several countries in putting key national assets into a sovereign wealth fund, which can be used for major projects, maintaining pensions and national welfare programs, or in times of crisis.Norway's sovereign wealth fund is the world's largest, worth $892 billion and holding stakes in around 9,000 companies worldwide.
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