Turkey's Erdoğan says he is 'allergic' to high-interest rates
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Wednesday said he was "allergic" to high interest rates -- sticking to his position for low rates to stimulate growth. "I am allergic to interest rates, high interest rates," Turkish leader said in televised speech during an economic forum in the central city of Sivas.
"I am allergic to interest, I am against high interest. Interest rate has currently started to fall again, inflation has also fallen, and policy interest rate will fall further," Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, said at Central Anatolia Economic Forum in central Sivas province.
In July, the country's central bank made a bigger-than-expected cut to its main interest rate by 4.25 percentage points, lowering the one-week repo rate to 19.75 percent from 24 percent.
Erdoğan, who boasted of high growth rate in the early years of his ruling Justice and Development [AK] Party, argues high interest rates cause high inflation.
Erdoğan signalled Wednesday the interest rate would be lowered further.
"Right now the fall in the interest rate has started again, the inflation has dropped. The policy rate will drop further."
For the growth rate plan of 2020, Erdoğan said: "I set a target growth rate for 2020, we will definitely plan the growth rate as 5%."
The Turkish GDP expanded 1.2 percent in the second quarter -- compared with the first quarter, a figure which is stronger than expected, the data from the Turkish Statistics Institute showed Monday.
- NUCLEAR WARHEADS
"Some have missiles with nuclear warheads, not one or two. But I would not have a nuclear-powered missile, I do not accept it," Erdoğan said, referring to all developed countries, who have nuclear-powered missiles but oppose others, who tend to have them.
He also referred to one of his visits to a former leader who sought to make more nuclear missiles, as many as the U.S. and Russia.
"I'm not going to reveal the name [of the leader]," he said, adding that the leader was then a president.
"That leader said, we have about 7,500 nuclear warheads. Russia and the U.S. have about 12,000-15,000 missiles. We will build more as well. They will compete for building more nuclear warheads," Erdoğan said quoting a former president, whose name he did not disclose.
Turkish leader also added: "Israel, right next door, is there [with nuclear-tipped missiles]. Yes. And it intimidates with this."
Erdoğan is a strident critic of Israel and has frequently said Israel's actions against Palestinians are similar to methods used by the Nazis.