– Are you satisfied with the economic measures implemented so far?
– People’s satisfaction is far more important than my satisfaction.
– People are overwhelmed by the high cost of living.
– Unfortunately the economic difficulties have sadly brought about high inflation as a side effect of the programme we have been implementing. We need to be patient. The political and economic state of the country is obvious, so are the global challenges.
– When do you expect things will improve?
– I can’t give an exact date, obviously. It is our responsibility to tell the truth to our citizens. We expect to achieve the desired results and mitigate the undesirable side effects during the year. Hopefully, we will reach our goal with effective market control and normalization, of course, provided that not another global crisis breaks out.
– What would you say about the budget deficit and public debt concerns ?
– Of course, we cannot call the result “a success”. After so many catastrophes, it is not possible to manage the budget as it was done in normal times. We admit that fiscal policy has lost its discipline, but we will seek to ensure a definite return to the budget discipline and bring it again to acceptable standards.
– Will the interest rate policy change?
– Policy rates were kept low to support economic growth, but market rates went up drastically. Still, they remain below the inflation rate. Our purpose is not to bring interest rates to the current inflation level, that would be a disastrous course of action. As inflation goes down, interest rates will obviously rise, and at some point, they will meet. But we are aiming for them to meet at a much lower level than they stand today. We ask for a little more patience from our citizens and business people.
– What about other concerns, such as foreign currency reserves?
– When exchange rates tend to rise in Turkey, people start to panic, which sadly brings an inflationary effect as well. Besides, inflation remained high even though the exchange rates were suppressed. Despite high inflation, people’s interest in buying foreign currency did not disappear. Our economy incurred huge costs arising out of using reserves to prevent the exchange rates from rising further. However, despite all these efforts, the result was quite unsatisfactory. In the upcoming period, we are determined to increase our foreign currency reserves, maintain the supply-demand balance, not to let the exporters become the victim of the circumstances, and encourage citizens and institutions to use Turkish lira by gaining their confidence and trust through realistic policies.
– I think you are trying to say that we should monitor the economic data closely.
– Of course, the economy is not about just numbers and data.
– So, what is the economy?
– Economy is actually about managing expectations wisely and effectively, encouraging rational behaviour, providing equality of opportunity to create value, establishing trust for people and institutions, and increasing their hopes for the future. People’s trust and confidence in us will increase as they see us fulfilling our promises. We only ask for their patience.
– Thank you.
– No, thank you.
The imaginary interview you have just read above is my humble suggestion to the winners of the election about the policies they will be expected to put into action. It’s easy to say “everything is fine” or “everything was wrong”. The important thing is to have a determined and realistic approach and carry out your responsibilities in line with it.