Alwaght- Turkey has fired on Saturday its central bank governor and replaced him with the bank's deputy governor amid high inflation, an economic slump, and volatility in the lira currency and high inflation.
According to a presidential decree published on the official gazette on Saturday, Murat Cetinkaya, who had been serving as Turkey’s central bank governor since April 2016, was removed from his post and replaced by his deputy Murat Uysal.
The central bank said in a statement that it would continue to operate independently and that its new governor would focus on maintaining price stability as the country faces volatility in the lira currency.
The sacking came amid latest speculations that Cetinkaya could be replaced due to disagreements with the government of Presidnet Recep Tayyip Erdogan on cutting interest rates.
Erdogan has repeatedly called for lower interest rates to stimulate growth in the country.
Two Turkish government sources told Reuters that differences between the government and the central bank governor have deepened recently over the conduct of monetary policy.
“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 noted.
Meanwhile, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) raised concerns about the central bank's credibility following the sacking.
"Those who removed the central bank governor overnight have lost the right to demand confidence in the country's economy. The central bank is a captive being kept in the palace," said CHP spokesman Faik Oztrak.
Turkey’s debt-soaked economy is currently in recession after a currency crisis last year chopped 30 percent from the lira and sent inflation and unemployment soaring.
The Turkish president has suggested the West is behind the country’s financial turbulence.
In August 2018, he accused the US of waging economic “war” on Turkey, saying that dollars, euros and gold were now “the bullets, cannonballs and missiles of the economic war being waged against our country.”
In recent weeks, there have been rumors of a Turkish cabinet reshuffle, which could see the removal of Berat Albayrak, Erdogan’s son-in-law who is the country’s finance minister, from his post.