Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vows to bring down inflation

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President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey speaks at the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September. Erdogan vowed this week to cut the country’s soaring inflation rate, which hit a 19-year high in December. File Pool Photo by Eduardo Munoz/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 14 (UPI) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to bring down inflation — which hit 36.1% in December — as the Central Bank prepares to meet next week.

Erdogan told parliament Wednesday that “the swelling inflation is not in line with the realities of our country.”

December’s figure represented a 19-year-high for the country’s inflation rate, the Daily Sabah reported.

The Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey is scheduled to meet next week.

Erdogan has long been an opponent of hiking interest rates, instead favoring other policy methods to combat inflation. The government increased the country’s monthly minimum wage for 2022 in an attempt to offset the rising rates.

In December, Erdogan replaced Turkey’s treasury minister as the country’s currency, the lira, continued to spiral downward.

The lira lost 44% of its value in 2021, which many blame on Erdogan’s hesitancy to raise interest rates.

Turkish businesses are starting to display signs showing prices in U.S. dollars, Haaretz reported. On Friday, the exchange rate was one U.S. dollar for 13.55 lira.

On Thursday, Turkey’s treasury and finance minister Nureddin Nebati said he expects inflation to peak this month, before shrinking to single digits in May.

“Currently we are carrying the hump of December. In the summer, both with easing food prices and in terms of global inflation, we will be entering a period where the impact of both of these will lessen,” he told Daily Sabah.

“We’ll enter the general elections in June 2023 with single-digit inflation.”

Erdogan told parliament the current inflation is not representative of Turkey’s current economic policies.

“There is an inflation problem in our country. Moreover, in addition to inflation, Turkey is also struggling with the painful problem of exchange rate fluctuation. Inflation growth has remained relatively below other countries,” he said.

However, a survey conducted by Turkey’s central bank expects inflation to still be around 30% at the end of this year.

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