Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has dismissed the head of the National Institute of Statistics following reports of tensions over national inflation data.
A decree published in the official national bulletin early Saturday morning announced the dismissal of Sait Erdal Dincer after official inflation reached a 36% high for the first time in 19 years. He had been in that position for only 10 months.
He was replaced by Erhan Cetinkaya, formerly Vice-Chairman of the National Banking Regulatory Authority.
Erdogan, a lifelong opponent of high interest rates, argues that low interest rates are a precursor to price stability and denies the economic legitimacy that raising interest rates helps curb inflation.
He ordered the central bank to cut interest rates four times in the last few months of last year, and the value of the Turkish lira plummeted.
Dinser’s dismissal comes after weeks of speculation in the Turkish media about the friction between him and Erdogan over the official rise in inflation.
At the same time, TurkStat is under intense pressure from opposition parties who have accused it of manipulating data to artificially show inflation at low rates.
Dinser rejected the claim earlier this month. “Inflation data, I’m responsible for 84 million people,” he told the Turkish business newspaper Dunya. “If I approve the error, I’ll cheat 84 million people. As you know, millions of workers will raise their salaries based on the inflation we’ve announced. Falsifying their income and depriving them of their rights … I don’t do that. ”
The agency will announce January inflation on February 3rd.
The country’s finance minister, Nureddin Nevati, reportedly said at an economist meeting in Istanbul last weekend that inflation is expected to reach 40% in the coming months. ..
Goldman Sachs, a US investment bank, predicts that January’s annual consumer price index will reach 48%.
According to the official bulletin, Prime Minister Erdogan has also accepted the resignation of Justice Minister Abdulaziz. He replaced him with Bekir Bozdag. Bekir Bozdag has previously held two positions.
Turkish President dismisses Director of Statistics amid rising inflationary tensions
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