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Erdogan vows to cut rates ‘as long as he remains president’

REUTERS/Murad Sezer
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a meeting to announce an economic reform package in Istanbul in March 2021

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan vowed on Saturday that the central bank would continue to cut its policy interest rates every month for as long as he stayed in power, after it surprised markets by cutting rates twice in the last two months.

“As long as this brother of yours is in this position, the interest will continue to fall with each passing day, each passing week, each month,” he told a rally in the western province of Balikesir.

Inflation has surged since November last year, as the lira slumped following cuts to the policy rate by the central bank, in an unorthodox easing cycle long sought by Erdogan.

The president earlier said he hopes the central bank’s monetary policy committee will deliver another cut to its policy rate next month and bring it down to single digits by year-end.

The central bank unexpectedly cut its policy rate by 100 basis points twice in the past two months, lowering it to 12 percent despite inflation at more than 80 percent in August.