ANKARA 

Turkey will not abandon free market principles, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday, stressing that the country will not put in place a controlled foreign exchange regime.

“The Turkish economy will continue on its way in line with the rules of free market economy, as it has done so far,” Erdogan said at the Academy Awards Ceremony of the Science Dissemination Society held in Istanbul’s Dolmabahce Palace.

A claim that Turkey may need an “economic state of emergency” is not correct, he stressed.

“The economic policy implemented by our government is advancing completely in the direction we have determined, except for the cyclical fluctuations in the exchange rate,” he explained.

Erdogan said his government will continue to fight higher interest rates. “Do not expect anything else from me.”

The Turkish Central Bank on Thursday cut its benchmark one-week repo rate by 100 basis points from 15% to 14%.

With the latest cut, the monetary authority has lowered the key rate by 500 basis points since September.

Though the Central Bank is an independent institution, its recent interest rate cuts have been in line with Erdogan’s oft-stated opposition to higher interest rates, with the mantra: “We will remove the interest rate burden from the backs of our people.”

According to the latest data from Turkish Statistical Institute, Turkey’s annual inflation rate was 21.31% in November.

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