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Turkey's central bank is independent of government and will take all necessary steps to combat inflation, Finance Minister Berat Albayrak told Reuters, defending an institution that has not raised its benchmark rate in nearly three months despite a currency crisis.The central bank, which holds its next meeting on Sept. 13, said Monday it will adjust its monetary stance given "significant risks" to price stability, a rare move to calm markets after inflation surged to its highest in nearly fifteen years.The bank has said all of its transactions were legal.Turkey hired a U.S. law firm to look into Halkbank's dealings with Iran and found that it did not violate U.S. sanctions, Albayrak said, adding Ankara does not expect the bank to face any fine.Referring to Turkey's wider dispute with the United States, Albayrak said Washington had taken it to a point that did not benefit "the U.S. state or people".Ratings agencies Moody's and Fitch both sounded alarm about the outlook for banks last week, with Fitch estimating that banks' foreign-currency lending now stood at around 43 percent of all loans.
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