Erdoğan to banks: Ease loans or you’ll face us
ANKARATurkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called on the financial sector on Jan. 17 to open the taps of credit or face a reckoning.
“Unless those who control the finance sector open the credit taps to entrepreneurs and investors, they will face us,” he said in Ankara, adding that loans should be offered at lower interest rates.
“When the credit taps open with lower rates in a more decent manner, the investors will become more competitive,” he said.
“In such a climate, it would be easier for Turkey to climb,” said Erdoğan.
Erdoğan favors low interest rates to spur growth, a philosophy that has put him at odds with international investors who say Turkey’s Central Bank needs to aggressively hike rates to stave off inflation.
“When some people call for you to keep your money in banks, what does it mean? It means give your money to the owners of the financial institutions and give them an opportunity to make a big haul without making any investments,” he said.
Economy ‘under attack since 2013’
Erdoğan also said the Turkish economy has been “under attack” since 2013.
“I describe those who ruthlessly use the money as economic terrorists, as there is no other way,” he added.
“Who can deny that the latest fluctuations in the foreign exchange rates are not based on any rational reasons and that the main point is to slow down the economy?” Erdoğan said.
“There are some people who are uncomfortable with my words. I am in charge. I have to say it. The people have asked me to protect their rights, and I have to do this to the end,” he added.
According to Erdoğan, there is an economic message behind all terror attacks.
“If Istanbul, our most significant brand, is attacked by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party one day and by the DAESH another day, can we ignore the hidden motivation which aims at slowing down the economy? One kilo of tomatoes rises to 7-8 liras in the market…This is too high,” he said, adding that the all these issues were discussed in a meeting with top economy officials late on Jan. 16.
“We need to find a solution to all these problems,” he added.
Erdoğan also said he talked to his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, to boost trade ties.
“We want to sell tomatoes and grapes to Russia. We want to boost our ties with Russia and increase our exports there. They should also import our products on a lira basis. In such a way, we can get rid of forex pressure,” he added.