Former FT banking correspondent Barchard dies at 73
David Barchard, who covered banking and Turkey for The Financial Times, has died at the age of 73.
Edward Mortimer of the FT writes, “The FT hired him as its correspondent in Turkey in 1983, in time for him to cover the first election held after the military coup of 1980. The army did not allow any former elected leaders to stand, but was caught out when Turgut Özal, a former World Bank official who had been in charge of economic policy, won a resounding victory. This inaugurated a period in which Özal, as prime minister, pushed through a series of liberalising economic reforms, while the generals kept firm control of security and there were many human rights violations. Barchard stood out among journalists, both Turkish and foreign, in that he supported the former no less strongly than he denounced the latter.
“But he was keen to join the FT’s full-time staff, and was told that, at least initially, that would mean covering a core financial topic in London. He cheerfully accepted this and, by good luck, his knowledge of all things Turkish came in useful for the FT’s investigation of the Polly Peck scandal, involving a company which had been turned into a large international investment vehicle by the Turkish Cypriot businessman Asil Nadir — but collapsed when it transpired that he was draining its funds to finance his interests in Turkey and northern Cyprus. Barchard was able to secure one of the rare interviews given by Mr Nadir, and later wrote a book about the affair.”
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