Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has dismissed the head of the National Statistics Office, Sait Erdal Dincerz. The annual inflation data published by the Office was the reason for his dismissal.
The head of the National Statistical Office came under the president’s fire after the release of data in early January showing the annual inflation rate at 36.1 percent, the highest level in 19 years.
Resignation of the head of the Turkish statistical office
The opposition said the figure was understated, saying the actual increase in the cost of living was at least twice as high.
President Erdogan did not explain his decision to replace Erhan Cetinkay, the former vice president of the Turkish banking regulator.
President Erdogan, writes AFP, continues to defend his economic decisions in an uncomfortable situation eighteen months before the presidential election.
Price increases in Turkey
Consumer price increases more than seven times the government’s original target of 13.58%. in December alone, it is explained by a decrease of almost 45 percent. the Turkish lira against the dollar during the year, despite emergency measures announced by the head of state in mid-December.
Aware of the damage done not only to the economy but also to his credibility, Erdogan promised in early January “to bring inflation to single-digit levels as soon as possible,” AFP reminds.
Inflation data is the subject of fierce political struggle: the opposition and part of the public accuse the National Statistical Office of deliberately underestimating price increases, driven by the president’s economic policy, which prompted the Turkish central bank to systematically lower interest rates in recent months.
Main photo source: Shutterstock