Turkey’s central bank governor rebuffs journalist over gov’t intervention in economy

Naci Ağbal, the governor of Turkey’s Central Bank, slammed a top pro-government journalist over his hawkish stance of government intervention in the economy, news website OdaTV reported on Thursday.

Ağbal unveiled the Central Bank’s latest inflation outlook during a video conference in Ankara on Thursday. When Sabah newspaper’s Ankara representative Okan Müderrisoğlu urged the Central Bank to act within a political framework, Ağbal turned on the pro-government journalist.

“I would like to state that I find your evaluations regarding our monetary policy stance extremely incomplete and incorrect,” Ağbal replied.

Sabah and some presidential advisors have been frequently targeting the new economy management since Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s son-in-law Berat Albayrak resigned as the Minister of Treasury and Economy. The paper is run by Albayrak’s older brother Serhat Albayrak, who owns more than half the media outlets in the country according to some estimates.

Following the Central Bank's interest rates hike, Erdoğan's economic advisors Yiğit Bulut and Cemil Ertem harshly criticised Ağbal’s management.

Ağbal, appointed by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in early November, signalled that he was committed to bolstering the Central Bank’s independence -which has been severely undercut in recent years- and to slowing inflation towards an elusive medium-term target of 5 percent.

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