Soaring inflation leads to dismissal of Turkish Statistics Institute’s deputy director

The deputy director of the Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkState) was dismissed from his job on Wednesday, the same day the institute announced that Turkey’s inflation in September jumped to 24,5 percent from 17,89 percent the previous month, according to a report by the Sözcü newspaper on Saturday.

Yinal Yağan of the Energy Ministry’s Directorate of General Mining will be replacing Enver Taştı as the new deputy director of TurkStat. Yağan is known to have been close to Berat Albayrak, Turkey’s minister of treasury and finance and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s son-in-law, during his time as energy minister.

Taştı’s dismissal is a surprising decision and a move made in response to soaring inflation figures, sources told Sözcü. Taştı was also responsible for relations between TurkStat and the European Union’s Eurostat.

Mehmet Aktaş has been serving as the acting director of TurkStat since February 2016. According to sources, Albayrak may appoint Yağan later as the new director to replace Aktaş, Sözcü said.

Meanwhile, renowned economist Professor Stephen Hanke criticized Turkish Minister Albayrak for his comments on the country’s soaring inflation, which officially jumped to 24,5 percent in September. Turkey’s annual inflation rate, in reality, is 77 percent according to his calculations as of Oct. 6, said Hanke.

Albayrak said on Wednesday that the inflation figures announced the same day had proven the price effects of opportunism, stockpiling and speculative pricing in the country. “Finance Minister Albayrak is not only uninformed about Turkey’s inflation but clueless about its causes. He claims “speculative pricing” is the cause.  What a joke,” Hanke said.

Erdoğan orders ministers not to work with US firm McKinsey

Also on Saturday, Turkish President Erdoğan said he has ordered ministers not to work with American management consulting firm McKinsey.

Treasury and Finance Minister Albayrak on Sept. 27 stated in New York that Turkey would work with McKinsey as part of the New Economic Program (NEP) that was unveiled to facilitate recovery from recent economic problems.

The move to retain the consulting firm attracted criticism from opposition parties and also from the Islamist grassroots of Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

“I told all my ministers: ‘You will not accept any advice or consultation from them.’ We do not need it. We’re able to do it by ourselves,” said Erdoğan at the AKP retreat in Kızılcahamam.

Underlining that Turkey has sought investment during official visits to foreign countries but never asked for money, Erdoğan said: “Of course, Turkey is open to all kinds of investment, support, and contributions as long as the price to pay for this is not sacrificing our country’s sovereignty and future.”

“As long as I am alive, nobody will be able to put Turkey again under the yoke of international organizations,” Erdoğan added, emphasizing that the government would achieve the country’s goals with its own solutions and its own programs.

Speaking to NTV on Oct. 3, Minister Albayrak said speculation about the government’s move to retain McKinsey originated from either “ignorance” or “treason.” (SCF with Ahval)

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