President Erdoğan vows to fight high interest rates, inflation
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has reiterated his continued fight against high interest rates and inflation, vowing to take measures to protect the low-income groups in the face of rising living costs.
“As long as I am in this job, I will continue my fight against interest rates and inflation until the end. My friends who defend the interest rates should not be offended but I cannot walk with those who defend interest rates,” Erdoğan told his parliamentary group on Nov. 17.
Erdoğan’s words came a day before the Central Bank is set to meet and decide on whether the interest rate should be decreased or remained at its current level amid the continued depreciation of the national currency against foreign currencies.
The issue regarding high interest rates is not an ordinary matter and the ruling party should evaluate it in line with its values, President Erdoğan said, repeating that the high inflation is the consequence of the high interest rates.
“We will save our people from this problem of interest rates. There is no other way,” he said.
Responding to a reporter’s question in parliament on whether his remarks should be seen as a signal of further slashing in interest rates, Erdoğan said, “Isn’t the Central Bank an independent body? Let it decide itself.”
Erdoğan also criticized Turkish business groups hesitating to receive low interest loans, saying, “I don’t understand these businessmen either. They speak of the need for increasing rates. What kind of businessmen are you? Here are low interest loans, why don’t you ask for it?”
The expectation from the business groups is to continue their investments and exports, Erdoğan stressed.
Turkey not exempt from global economic troubles
The world is suffering from economic troubles and Turkey is also subject to it, but its difference from the rest of the world is the fact that its economy will rise again after 2022 and 2023, Erdoğan said.
“Even the most developed countries are experiencing the worst economic crisis since the Second World War. Thanks to our strong economic infrastructure, we are feeling it the least. A very bright future is awaiting us if we can leave the 2022 and 2023 period behind us without allowing a major crash,” he said.
The government is taking measures to protect low-income groups and is shouldering a good portion of the costs in the utilities, Erdoğan said “We are exerting efforts to protect our workers against high inflation. We will ease the burden on low-income groups by determining the level of minimum wage with the same understanding.”
Parliament can decide on 50+1 rule
On questions about an ongoing discussion about the 50 percent plus one vote election threshold, Erdoğan said there was a lot of manipulation on the matter.
“Unfortunately, all those are lies, this kind of stuff. The decision belongs to the parliament when it comes to these issues,” Erdoğan said. “The parliament had decided on such issues in the past. Can’t it make another decision? We will see it, too,” he added.
Felicity Party leader Temel Karamollaoğlu had claimed that Erdoğan complained about the presidential election threshold of 50 percent plus one vote during their meeting last week. Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli said his party sticks to this rule as the main pillar of the current executive-presidential system.
In the meantime, Erdoğan and Bahçeli met at a face-to-face meeting at the presidential complex late afternoon on Nov. 17.