Turkey's central bank has left its key interest rate unchanged

Turkey’s central bank has kept its key interest rate unchanged for the fourth straight month, despite rising inflation reaching a 20-year high and reducing the purchasing power of the population, the Associated Press reported.

In a statement after a meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee, the bank said it was keeping its key interest rate at 14 percent.

The decision is in line with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s opposition to high-interest rates in a bid to boost growth, investment, and exports. The Turkish president points out that the increase in interest rates leads to inflation – a position that contradicts generally accepted economic theories.

Turkey’s central bank has cut interest rates by 5 percentage points since September, despite high inflation. Since January, the bank has kept its key interest rate unchanged at 14 percent. A series of cuts in interest rates last year sparked a currency crisis and rising consumer prices, exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and rising energy costs.

Annual inflation in Turkey reached 61.14 percent in March, deepening pressure on households already struggling to buy basic goods. The Turkish lira lost 44 percent of its value against the dollar last year.

To mitigate the blow to households, the government has reduced taxes on basic goods and adjusted electricity tariffs.

Turkey will become a logistics superpower by 2053

“Turkey seeks to be a logistical superpower in the world as part of our vision for the country until 2053,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a news conference late Tuesday after a cabinet meeting at the presidential complex in Ankara, BGNES reported. Sabah. ”

“Turkey has a clear way forward to be a logistical superpower,” he added. “We have expanded our railway network from 10,959 km to 13,022 km,” Erdogan said. “Our goal is to increase this figure to 28,590 kilometers by 2053.”

Erdogan added that “by expanding high-speed train lines by 2053, we will increase the number of provinces connected to this system from 8 to 52”. Referring to the government’s initiatives in support of employment, Erdogan said the labor ministry would cover all salaries and social security payments of newly hired workers for the first three or six months. Over the past two decades, Turkey has implemented multibillion-dollar projects, and its national highways and divided roads have expanded to 3,633km and 28,647km, respectively.

Between 2003 and 2021, more than $ 172 billion was invested in all means of transport and communication infrastructure, Turkish Transport Minister Karaismaigloglu said. “After that, we will invest another $ 198 billion by 2053, starting this year,” the minister said. According to estimates made as part of the plan, the investment will allow the country to save about $ 176 billion, of which $ 59 billion in time savings, $ 26 billion in fuel, $ 10 billion in accident costs, 31 billion to reduce carbon emissions and $ 56 billion to other external costs. Karaismaigloglu said Turkey is an important passenger and cargo air hub for Europe, West Asia, and Africa.

US congressmen visited Erdogan’s palace

Turkish Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kallan met with members of the US Congress at Istanbul’s Dolmabahce Palace, Turkish television channel CNN-Turk reported.

Energy security, defense cooperation, and bilateral political and economic relations were discussed at the meeting. Ali Ihsan Arslan, a member of the ruling Justice and Development Party, also took part in the talks. The meeting was also attended by US Ambassador to Ankara Jeffrey Flake. The war between Russia and Ukraine has shown the importance of strengthening NATO and relations, Cullen said at the meeting. He added that it was contrary to the Allied spirit for NATO members to impose sanctions on each other. Developments in the region offer good opportunities to strengthen ties between the two countries, Cullen said.

He stressed that the war between Ukraine and Russia will change many things. “We are entering a new Cold War. We need to prepare for the consequences of issues such as food, energy, and cybersecurity,” the presidential spokesman said. Cullen also said that with recent developments between Ukraine and Russia, the situation has become more difficult. He stressed that Turkey is doing everything in its power to bring the two sides to the negotiating table. Cullen also pointed out that the Montreux Convention ensured that warships would stay away from the Black Sea. “Turkey is a very important friend of the United States and we are here to support this friendship in trade, diplomatic and military relations,” US Senator Richard Shelby told the meeting.

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