Dec 20, 2021 14:28 UTC
  • Erdogan vows to fight inflation, higher interest rates despite growing skepticism

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to rein in the country’s alarmingly surging inflation and reaffirmed his support to low interest rates.

Speaking at a function organized by the Ilim Yayma Foundation in Istanbul on Sunday, Erdogan said Ankara will not abandon free market principles and will not put in place a controlled foreign exchange regime.

"The Turkish economy will continue on its way in line with the rules of free market economy, as it has done so far," he said, dismissing claims that the country needs an "economic state of emergency".

Earlier, after a Turkiye-Africa summit ended, Erdogan said "sooner or later, just as we lowered inflation to four percent when I came to power... we will reduce it again."

“But, I will not let my citizens, my people, be crushed under interest rates,” he said in a meeting with African youths, according to a video released on Sunday.

The Turkish leader emphasized that his policy of lowering interest rates was part of a successful “economic independence war” that he claimed will boost exports, employment, investments and growth.

The remarks came as Turkish lira hit a record low beyond 17 against the US dollar on Friday.

Amid rising fears of an inflationary spiral, the currency has lost 55 percent of its value this year and 37 percent in only past 30 days.

Turkey’s annual inflation dropped to nearly four percent back in 2011, when Erdogan was prime minister. It has, however, soared since 2017, jumping 3.5 percent on the month in November and 21.3 percent on the year.