Turkey’s communications director Friday called out major global news outlets for spreading “fake news” and “lies” about the country.
Fahrettin Altun refuted a Reuters report that claimed President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was “cooling” on the central bank governor and was about to fire him.
Altun also referred to a separate U.S.-based Foreign Policy article calling Turkey’s defense minister Erdoğan’s heir apparent.
He described the reported allegations as “fake news.”
“Fake news used to be a problem on social media. It seems that the mainstream media, too, suffers from the same issue now,” Altun said in a tweet, attaching an image of the Reuters story on the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT) governor.
“That even major organizations spread such lies is deeply concerning,” he stressed.
The Reuters report, citing anonymous sources, claimed that Erdoğan was “losing confidence in central bank governor Şahap Kavcıoğlu” on monetary policy direction, claiming the leader was disappointed that the governor had been unable to lower inflation in recent months.
Fake news used to be a problem on social media.It seems that the mainstream media, too, suffers from the same issue now.That even major organizations spread such lies is deeply concerning.Fake News pic.twitter.com/HVvqbac1j4— Fahrettin Altun (@fahrettinaltun) October 8, 2021
The central bank surprised markets by unexpectedly cutting its key policy rate to 18% from 19% last month.
Turkey’s annual inflation accelerated to 19.58% in September, its highest level in two and a half years, while a core measure – which Kavcıoğlu has been stressing over the last month – was 16.98%.
The governor this week told investors the bank does not look only at core inflation measures in determining monetary policy.
He stressed that the monetary policy was sufficiently tight to tackle inflation and he expected core price measures to fall in the short term.
Kavcıoğlu took over the post almost seven months ago, replacing Naci Ağbal. He is the CBRT’s fourth governor in less than two years.
Murat Çetinkaya had served as the bank’s chief between April 2016 and July 2019. His replacement Murat Uysal served for 16 months until November last year when he was fired and replaced by Ağbal, who spent less than five months in the office.
On the other hand, the Foreign Policy article claimed that National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar is Erdoğan’s “heir apparent” and tries to paint him as a more malleable alternative for the West to run Turkey.
Altun called the story “fabricated news,” saying it was an example of “fake news.”
Akar, formerly the chief of Turkish General Staff and a four-star general, was appointed as the minister of defense in 2018.
Since then, he has played a vital role in defending and representing Turkey’s national interests in Libya, Iraq, Syria and Azerbaijan, amongst other fields of operation.
However, he has expressed no ambitions or desire to run for president of the country.
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