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Erdogan says interest rates will fall if he is in power

Erdogan reelection Gulf Reuters/Murad Sezer
Erdoğan, who has been in power since 2003, is unlikely to change his unorthodox economic policies

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said that interest rates will fall as long as he is in power and that inflation will decline with them, repeating his unorthodox views.

Erdogan was speaking in Istanbul weeks before a presidential election on May 14. Some anticipate a shift to more orthodox policies after the vote.

Turkey’s central bank has slashed its policy rate to 8.5 percent from 19 percent since late 2021 in line with Erdogan’s economic views. The easing cycle led to a currency crisis and sent inflation soaring, eating away at household savings.  

Erdogan has promised to provide free natural gas for households before elections.

“We will provide free natural gas for household consumption up to 25 cubic meters monthly for one year,” he said at the inauguration of an onshore natural gas port in the northern province of Zonguldak.

Ten million cubic metres of gas per day in Turkey’s Black Sea gas fields will be produced initially, Erdogan said. Production will be increased to 40 million cubic meters of gas per day in the coming period, he said.

“When we reach full capacity, we will be able to meet approximately 30 percent domestic consumption yearly from here,” he said.