After sharp interest rate cuts, Erdogan urges Turks to borrow from state banks

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has urged Turks to borrow from state banks and help boost production, under a comprehensive new economic policy he said is aimed at protecting Turkey’s economy.

Erdogan said in a television interview on Wednesday that the government would take steps to ease the burden of inflation, which jumped to 36 percent last month, and also promised to issue new alternative debt to investors.

At Erdogan’s urging, Turkey’s central bank made a series of unconventional interest rate cuts that weighed heavily on the local currency in November and December, driving annual consumer price inflation to high levels.

During this month, Erdogan said that his government will succeed in reducing the inflation rate within a short period, and stressed that the inflation figures are not in line with the economic reality in Turkey.

He added at the time, “We suffer from the problem of inflation. In addition, Turkey also suffered from a painful problem of exchange rate fluctuations, but despite that, the increase in inflation in our country remained relatively less than that of other countries.”

Erdogan also urged Turks earlier this month to convert their foreign currency savings into the national currency.

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