Erdogan removes Turkish central bank governor

ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkey’s president has fired the central bank governor amid the country’s economic downturn.

Murat Cetinkaya was replaced by Deputy Governor Murat Uysal in a presidential decree published yesterday. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has the authority to make such appointments, which previously required a Cabinet decision, under new executive powers that went into effect last summer.

Uysal said the central bank would continue to “independently implement monetary policy instruments” for price stability. Centikaya was criticised last summer for acting too slowly in tightening monetary policy and raising interest rates as the Turkish lira nosedived amid a diplomatic crisis with the United States (US).

The central bank then raised interest rates to the current 24 per cent, despite Erdogan’s avowed aversion to high interest rates.

The central bank’s independence is widely questioned.