Erdogan Economy Meeting Goes Unmentioned as Structure Undefined

  • Meeting touted in press as one of Economy Coordination Board
  • Officials refrain from making statement on Wednesday gathering

An eagerly anticipated meeting of Turkey’s top economic policy makers convened by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday ended without a public statement amid a lack of clarity about its structure or authority.

Described originally in the press and government agendas as a meeting of the Economy Coordination Board, the summit’s composition indicated that it was no such thing. That board’s structure is defined by a law passed in 2009 and last amended earlier this year. It describes no role for the head of state, and the president had never before chaired such a gathering.

The meeting came hours after Erdogan warned policy makers and private sector banks on interest rates, which he said had not been lowered sufficiently to spur investments and boost economic activity. Binali Yildirim, who chaired the previous Economy Coordination Board meeting on Friday, canceled a second session that was to be held on Tuesday. The offices of the prime minister and president didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment on the attendees or content of the meeting on Wednesday under Erdogan.

Read more: Erdogan Unleashes Fury at Markets on Eve of Turkey Rate Decision

The central bank will announce its monthly rates decision at 2 p.m. local time in Ankara. It is expected to keep all three main interest rates unchanged, according to Bloomberg surveys.

“Erdogan’s resolve to battle against high interest rates, highlighted once again in yesterday’s remarks, strengthens the probability of no action by the Monetary Policy Committee," QNB Finansbank economist Deniz Cicek said by e-mail on Thursday. That’s likely to “push the currency weaker and market yields higher,” he said.

The lira dropped as much as 0.7 percent to a record 3.4203 per dollar at 11:10 a.m. in Istanbul, extending its loss over the past month to 10 percent. The yield on 10-year sovereign bonds was unchanged at 11.38 percent after closing at a record high on Wednesday.

— With assistance by Firat Kozok

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