EUROPE

Turkey will not hesitate to use the S-400s when necessary, says Erdoğan

News Service Yeni Şafak, Reuters

Turkey will not hesitate to use the Russian S-400 missile systems when necessary, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said.

Speaking to reporters on his airplane returning from a trip to Bosnia, the president said that it was out of the question for Turkey to back out of this purchase.

"We have the right and opportunity to use it wherever and whenever we need to. This is an air defense system. As such, we will activate this system if we were to come under any attack. This is why we have made such an investment.

Erdoğan says Turkey may face problems if cenbank not overhauled

He also said that Turkey could face serious problems if its central bank is not completely revised after the dismissal of governor Murat Cetinkaya.

A presidential decree on Saturday showed Cetinkaya, whose four-year term was due to run until 2020, had been replaced by his deputy Murat Uysal.

No official reason was given for the sacking, but government sources cited Erdoğan's frustration that the bank had kept its benchmark interest rate at 24 percent since September to support the ailing lira, even as the economy slipped into recession.

Erdoğan said Cetinkaya had made decisions for which a high price was paid and he had not inspired market confidence, Haberturk said.

"The central bank is the most important element in the economy's financial pillar," Erdogan said. "If we do not revise it completely, if we don't put it on solid foundations, we may face living with serious problems."

"Most importantly, he did not inspire confidence in markets. His communication with markets was not good," he added.

Erdoğan, a frequent critic of high interest rates, has often called for lower rates to boost the economy.

Erdoğan said that he emphasised stability and decisiveness in steps on financial issues and that each time the bank's rate-setting monetary policy committee (MPC) met there was always uncertainty about what would emerge.

He said Cetinkaya had cut the number of MPC meetings each year, with eight this year. Before the policy change, the meetings were held every month.

"They did not ask us about these things, they did them of their own accord," Erdoğan said, adding that Cetinkaya had also made organisational changes to the bank, by setting up directorates.

Cetinkaya hiked the benchmark interest rate by a total of 11.25 percentage points last year to 24% now.

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