President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to continue with the Istanbul channel and cut interest rates to single digits.
Erdogan has always been firmly committed to keeping interest rates low. However, contrary to the president, last year the Central Bank raised interest rates to 19% in an attempt to raise the lira and curb inflation.
At a meeting of AK Party lawmakers in Ankara this week, Erdogan also said he intends to speed up his controversial plan for the Istanbul Canal: a project that will include digging straits that will cut a piece of the city, offering an alternative route through the crowded Bosphorus Strait and connecting Black and Marmara Sea.
“We are determined to reduce inflation, which has recently accelerated, to single digits,” Erdogan said. “We are also determined to reduce interest rates to single digits.”
He added that the statute of limitations has no economic basis.
In a few days, the Central Bank of Turkey will hold its first interest rate meeting under the leadership of its new governor, Sahap Kaycioglu, who was appointed earlier this month after Naci Agbal, who took office, was ousted on March 20th. the lira weakened by 12% against the dollar.
Kavcioglu, a former AK Party MP, said he would not rush to reduce the rate from the current one to 19%.
Channel plans are accelerating
The multi-billion dollar Canal Istanbul project was first announced 10 years ago. Its popularity – and feasibility – has been declining and declining over the decades.
However, it was again in the spotlight last week after 100 retired admirals expressed concern about their project. Admirals say the project will affect a 1936 agreement that seeks to maintain peace and stability in the Black Sea region.
However, Erdogan does not mind. “We have largely completed preparations for the Istanbul Canal,” he said. “The tender will be held soon, and we will break through to the summer.”
The project would create a new city of 500,000 people, Erdogan said. He did not add Turkey’s intention to leave the agreement.