Gov’t should fight against Central Bank domination: Prominent AKP member
TURAN YILMAZ ANKARA
AA PhotoThe government should tackle the stranglehold of the Central Bank, just as it did against military tutelage, according to a prominent member of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
The party’s deputy chairman, Numan Kurtulmuş, dubbed one of the possible candidates to take over the AKP if Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan bids for the presidency in the August elections, has said legal regulations should be made to tackle the Central Bank’s “domination.”
He said that after the removal of military tutelage, the focus should now be on the Central Bank, higher boards and the judicial system.
“Institutional independence is OK, but if the Central Bank and the government are not on the same page, then it is not institutional independence,” he said. “Well, let the Central Bank be independent, but then what about the independence of the Turkish state?”
Kurtulmuş’s words came amid an ongoing debate on the interest rates, an issue in which Erdoğan has repeatedly criticized Central Bank Governor Erdem Başçı for not cutting interest rates enough.
“It is easy to see the military tutelage because it has guns and tanks and has uniforms. Turkey has left its struggle with visible tutelage behind,” Kurtulmuş said. “The next stage is to struggle with the invisible, veiled strangleholds. This will be one of the main issues on the government’s agenda and the necessary legal amendments could be made.”
“Of course we are not discussing the institutional independence of the Central Bank. It will maintain the inflation on a minimum level and protect price consistency, but the economy is not limited to that,” he added.
“Inflation being at 5 percent is an important target, but there is an obligation of 5 percent of growth as well. If those two policies are at odds with each other, it is impossible for me to say ‘the Central Bank is independent and this is all that matters,’” the AKP deputy chairman said.
“At the end of the day, the Central Bank should lead the process in line with the government’s targets,” he added.