Turkish statistics agency abolishes boards designed to boost credibility – report

The Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) has abolished two advisory boards that it established last month to help boost transparency and accountability, Bloomberg HT reported on Wednesday, citing three unidentified sources.

TÜİK may consider reactivating the committees, which comprised economists, academics and representatives of non-government organisations, for 2022, the news channel said on its website on Wednesday, citing one of the sources.

The decision follows President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s appointment last week of Sait Erdal Dinçer, a professor of economics at Istanbul’s Marmara University, to head TÜİK. Dinçer replaced acting chief Ahmet Kürşad Dosdoğru, who was hired less than a month previously.

TÜİK has faced a credibility problem due to the frequent replacement of its officials via presidential decree and suspicion among Turkish citizens and some economists that the institute may have under-reported increases in the inflation rate and unemployment. Annual inflation in the country stands at 15.6 percent, according to official data.

Officials at TÜİK did not immediately respond to questions on the halting of the boards’ activities, BloombergHT said.