Turkish PM warns banks to cut interest rates or gov't will 'take its own measures'
ISTANBUL – Anadolu AgencyPrime Minister Binali Yıldırım on June 21 urged Turkey’s banking sector to cut interest rates, saying if it does not then the government will itself take forcible measures.
“The train is about to leave [the station]. I’m making the last call. Either you adopt a reasonable level for interest rates or we will take measures [to reduce them],” Yıldırım said at the opening ceremony of a new Istanbul Chamber of Industry building.
“Our bankers should not take this as a threat. But we have tools in hand,” he added.
Yıldırım said that last year the government took necessary measures to boost the country’s economic growth beyond all predictions.
Turkey’s economy grew 5 percent in the first quarter of 2017 compared with the same period in 2016, the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) reported on June 19.
The figure was higher than the median forecast by state-run Anadolu Agency’s Finance Desk, which predicted 3.8 percent growth for the first quarter.
In 2016, Turkey’s economy grew 2.9 percent despite a series of terror attacks and a deadly coup attempt in July.
“We became the number three [country] after China and India [for economic growth], two times higher than Europe,” Yıldırım added.
“We should guarantee sustainable development. Investments need to be inclusive. Development should be inclusive. We have opportunities to do these. Turkey has opportunities, resources, stability and everything [needed for economic development],” he said.
Wikipedia is still banned in Turkey, but the prime minister urged greater attention to research and development, saying the government plans to boost R&D expenditures to 3 percent of GDP.