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Erdoğan says central bank governor fired for refusing to cut interest rates: report


In a meeting with his party’s deputies Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said he sacked the central bank governor for rejecting the government’s repeated demands for rate cuts, Reuters reported, citing the Hürriyet daily.

Central Bank Governor Murat Çetinkaya, whose four-year term was due to run until 2020, was replaced by his deputy, Murat Uysal, a presidential decree published early on Saturday in the Official Gazette showed.

“We told him repeatedly in economy meetings that he should cut rates. We told him that the rate cut would help inflation to fall. He didn’t do what was necessary,” Erdoğan was quoted as saying.

The Hürriyet daily said Erdoğan gave his explanation for firing Çetinkaya, almost a year before his term was due to end, during a consultation meeting in İstanbul with the members of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

“We weren’t on the same page,” Erdoğan added.

No official reason was given for the dismissal, but government sources cited Erdoğan’s frustration that the bank has kept its benchmark interest rate at 24 percent since last September to support the ailing lira currency.

In a written statement on Saturday Uysal said he would independently implement monetary policy instruments focused on achieving and maintaining the primary objective of price stability.

Under Turkey’s new executive presidency, which came into effect last year, Erdoğan does not need cabinet approval to change the central bank governor.

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