Five executives replaced at Turkey's Central Bank
Neşe KARANFİL - ANKARAThe Central Bank replaced five executives on June 11, following Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's increasingly strong criticism of Governor Erdem Başçı's strategy amid a wave of reshuffles in various state offices.
The Central Bank Assembly decided to remove two director-generals, one deputy director-general and two directors, in its meeting on the afternoon of June 11.
Başçı's chief of staff, Ömer Erdoğan, is among the executives who were effectively demoted by the assembly. All five names will continue working for Central Bank as advisers and experts.
Prime Minister Erdoğan had stepped up his criticism of the Central Bank’s monetary policy in late May, slamming the Bank’s slight drop in interest rates as not enough. “You raised the interest rate by 5 points all at once, but now you reduce by only half point. Are you kidding?” Erdoğan said last month.
Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç later tried to cool down tension. “As you all know, the independence of the Central Bank is one of the basic principles mentioned in the founding manifesto of our party. We haven’t deviated from this principle so far and we have no intentions to do so in the future,” Arınç said on June 2.
However, Başçı's recent biannual Cabinet briefing was unable to please Erdoğan, who said soon afterward that he still didn't agree with the Central Bank for not cutting interest rates enough.
There were rumors that Başçı wanted to present his resignation, and had resisted the requests for the dismissal of his aides, but Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan had allegedly convinced him to stay at the Central Bank.
Başçı is scheduled to make a public presentation at Chamber of Trade in the Central Anatolian city of Konya on June 16.