The Turkish president has fired one of the central bank’s deputy governors, a third senior official, who was fired after a series of interventions at a two-month-old independent institution that has restrained investors.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued a decree in the Official Gazette early Tuesday morning dismissing Oguzan Ozbas, a member of the Monetary Policy Committee, and replacing him with Semih Tumen, a professor of economics at Ankara TED University.
In March, Erdogan fired Naji Agbal, the governor of the third central bank in less than two years. Agbali was replaced by the newspaper’s columnist Sahap Kavcioglu, who shares Erdogan’s unusual view that high interest rates drive inflation rather than pressure. One week later, Erdogan replaced Deputy Governor Murat Chetinkaya.
The lira has lost 14 percent of its value against the dollar since March amid fears that Kavcioglu’s bank could not ignore Erdogan to keep monetary policy firm, fighting double-digit inflation over the past three years.
Erdogan said that this year both interest rates and inflation will be below 10 percent. He had long been a badge of the central bank to curb lending rates to stimulate the economy.
The Central Bank is holding a meeting on June 17 to determine its next interest rate.
Tumen, 44, graduated from the London School of Economics and the University of Chicago. He previously worked at the central bank in various roles as Erdogan’s human resources adviser.
Only three of the seven members of the Monetary Policy Committee have worked for three or more years as policy makers, and the rest have been appointed since early 2020.