A money changer counts Turkish lira banknotes at a currency exchange office in Diyarbakir, Turkey May 23, 2018. (REUTERS/Sertac Kayar/File Photo)
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Turkey's central bank ramped up its benchmark interest rate by 125 basis points to 17.75 percent on Thursday, taking another step to assert its independence, weeks after an emergency increase in borrowing costs.Concerns about President Tayyip Erdogan's growing influence on monetary policy before elections this month and doubts over whether the central bank can rein in double-digit inflation have caused the lira to fall some 16 percent this year.The bank has now raised rates by 4.25 percentage points in just over two weeks, after its 3 percentage-point increase at the emergency meeting last month.Eleven of 16 economists polled by Reuters had predicted the bank would raise its one-week repo rate, but none had forecast such a large move.Five each had predicted increases of 50 and 100 basis points and five others no change. One economist predicted a rise of 75 basis points.
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