Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan addresses the provincial governors of Turkey during a meeting at the Presidential Palace in Ankara February 27, 2015. REUTERS/Kayhan Ozer/Presidential Palace Press Office/Handout via Reuters
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Defending high interest rates is tantamount to treason, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan warned at the weekend, and said the governor of the central bank and deputy prime minister in charge of the economy needed to "shape up".Deepening a standoff which has rattled investor nerves, Erdogan was quoted Monday as saying he would hold talks with Central Bank Governor Erdem Basci, under fire for failing to cut rates as sharply as Erdogan wants.The bank trimmed the one-week repo rate by 25 basis points to 7.5 percent last week but Erdogan wants more aggressive cuts.Last Wednesday, Erdogan questioned whether the central bank was under external influence, in what traders took as a thinly-veiled reference to the network of U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, a former ally-turned-foe whom Erdogan accuses of plotting against him.
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