Turkish president insists on lowering interest rates as lira sinks

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he will never defend an increase in interest rates nor compromise on the issue, semi-official Anadolu Agency reported on Monday.

“I have never advocated, do not advocate and will not advocate raising interest rates. Even if some think differently, I have the same position. I will never compromise on this issue,” he told journalists on board his plane returning from Turkmenistan.

Erdogan underlined that this approach is part of his values.

The Turkish lira slipped to 11.80 against one U.S. dollar after the president’s statement.

His remarks came after lira hit record lows last week and continued to lose value against the dollar after policy rate cuts by the central bank.

Erdogan defends the central bank’s decision to lower the benchmark interest rate despite the inflation rate-raising nearly 20 percent annually.