Erdoğan reiterates call for lower interest rates
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has reiterated his call for lowering interest rates amid an ongoing fluctuation in the Turkish Lira which he described as an attempt by the West, particularly the United States, to corner Turkey ahead of the municipal elections.
“Let me explain a difficulty we have. This is about inflation. A slight decline in inflation has begun but the main problem is the [level of] interest rates. Inflation will further decrease with the lowering of interest rates,” Erdoğan said at a meeting with youngsters as part of an election campaign on March 28.
Erdoğan was responding to a question on the recent fluctuation of the lira which has caused around five percent value loss in less than a day. The Central Bank’s measures avoided a major plunge in the Turkish lira but resulted with around 8 percent fall at the stock exchange.
“All these are attempts by the West, particularly America, to corner Turkey,” Erdoğan said, stressing that pressure imposed on Turkey through currency fluctuations yielded no result. “Now, they can’t find the lira. They are in difficulty in the remitting,” he stated, adding this led to decline in the value of the U.S. dollar while the lira has bounced back.
Erdoğan expressed confidence in the Turkish economy and challenged international bankers who he accused of plotting against Turkey.
Turkey launched a probe against JP Morgan and some banks for manipulative acts following a sharp plunge of the lira on March 22.
“We should discipline all the market speculators,” Erdoğan said, referring to wholesalers and brokers who he accused of marketing all the products, particularly agricultural ones, to unreasonable prices in supermarkets.
“We will take action if this issue will not be solved until the March 31 elections. We have already said that we will [expand] the point of sales by our municipalities. We will also talk to the associations of craftsmen,” Erdoğan said. “Chain markets should be helping us. This state, this people belong to us. Let’s not exploit them through high prices.”
Post-election 'road map ready'
Turkey has become a country that has influence on regional and global issues and that’s why this bothers foreign powers, Erdoğan stressed, linking latest economic turbulence with the efforts of these powers.
“They cannot achieve their objective,” Erdoğan said, explaining his government’s post-election preoccupation.
“There will be around four-and-half years until the next elections. So after Monday we will be starting to get down to business. All that we have to do, our road map and timeline are ready. We will start to implement in a smooth way. Now the investors are waiting to hear from us. They will come when we invite them,” Erdoğan said.
In a rally in Haymana district of Ankara, Erdoğan announced that the government will take steps for the economy immediately after the elections and will start to implement them in the next two months.
“We will undertake structural reforms after the elections in order to strengthen our economy against such recent attacks against us,” he said.
Trump wants re-election of Netanyahu
On a question on U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize the Israeli control on the Golan Heights of Syria, Erdoğan slammed the U.S. president for taking an irreversible step in the Middle East.
“It’s impossible that Trump’s move will be affirmed at the U.N. General Assembly and at the U.N. Security Council,” Erdoğan said, informing that this issue will be brought to the U.N. by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
The real motive behind this move is Trump’s support to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the general elections to be held on April 9, Erdoğan said: “He dispatches his son-in-law and lends support. Because Netahyahu is a corrupt man and his wife seems to be involved in corruption. That’s why he is in serious difficulty.”