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Erdogan calls for more government control of the economy, Turkey's lira plunges

Erdogan's comments pushed the ailing lira to losses of more than 13% this year [Getty]

Date of publication: 15 May, 2018

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Turkey President Erdogan has called for greater government control of the economy, leading to the country's lira to crash to a eight-year low.
Turkey's lira hit a eight-year record low on Tuesday, after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he will take greater control of the economy after the presidential elections next month.

In an interview with Bloomberg Television in London, Erdogan said that the central bank was independent but once Turkey transforms into a presidential system, the body will not be able to ignore the suggestions of the country's head.

"I will take the responsibility as the indisputable head of the executive in respect of the steps to be taken and decisions on these issues," he said in the interview broadcast Tuesday.

Snap presidential and parliamentary elections are due to take place on 24 June, with polls indicating Erdogan as the strongest candidate for the presidential vote.

Turkey will switch to an executive presidency following a referendum last year, a change that will go into effect following the vote. 

The flailing lira fell to a record low of 4.3990 against the dollar, bringing this year's losses to more than 13 percent.

Citizens will ultimately hold the president responsible for any economic problems caused by monetary policy said the Turkish leader.

"They will hold the president accountable. Since they will ask the president about it, we have to give off the image of a president who is effective in monetary policies," he said.

"This may make some uncomfortable. But we have to do it. Because it's those who rule the state who are accountable to the citizens."

The elections, originally scheduled to be held on 3 November 2019, came as a shock to the country, as Erdogan had repeatedly insisted there will be no early elections.

Analysts have said that the state of the Turkish economy could have tempted the government to consider the early election call and hold polls before there is any serious deterioration.

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