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Turkey Fires Central Bank Governor

Turkey Fires Central Bank Governor

Saturday, 6 July, 2019 - 06:00
FILE PHOTO: A logo of Turkey's Central Bank (TCMB) is pictured at the entrance of the bank's headquarters in Ankara, Turkey April 19, 2015. REUTERS/Umit Bektas
Asharq Al-Awsat
Turkey has sacked the governor of its central bank and replaced him with his deputy, a presidential decree published in the official gazette said on Saturday.

Murat Cetinkaya, who was appointed to the role in April 2016, had been replaced by Murat Uysal, the order showed, but gave no official reason for the change.

There had been recent speculation that Cetinkaya could be replaced amid disagreements with the government on cutting interest rates.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly railed against high interest rates and called for them to be lowered in a bid to stimulate growth.

Erdogan once called high rates the "mother and father of all evil".

Turkey's main interest rate is 24 percent after the bank under Cetinkaya made an aggressive rate hike of 625 basis points last September following a currency crisis in August.

Uysal said he would continue to use monetary policy tools "independently" while remaining focused on ensuring price stability as his "main aim", according to a central bank statement.

Uysal, who had served as deputy governor since June 2016, will hold a press conference in the coming days, the bank said.

Turkish inflation fell to 15.72 percent in June from 18.71 percent in May, official statistics showed on Wednesday, the lowest rate in nearly a year.

Two government sources told Reuters that differences between the government and the governor over the conduct of monetary policy have deepened in the past few months.

"The difference of opinions between the governor and the ministers in charge of the economy has deepened in the recent period," said one of the sources.

"The President and the finance minister demanded his resignation, but Cetinkaya reminded of the bank's independence and declined to resign," the other source said.

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