Erdogan fires Turkey’s statistics chief after controversial inflation figures
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has sacked the head of the state statistics agency, according to a decree published Saturday, after annual inflation figures angered both the pro-government and opposition camps.
The dismissed state statistic agency chief, Sait Erdal Dincer, came under fire after releasing data this month that put the annual inflation rate at a 19-year high of 36.1 percent.
The opposition said the figure was underreported, claiming that the real cost of living increases were at least twice as high.
But Erdogan reportedly criticised the statistics agency in private for publishing data that he felt overstated the scale of Turkey’s economic malaise.
Erdogan did not explain his decision to appoint Erhan Cetinkaya, who had served as vice-chair of Turkey’s banking regulator, as the new state statistics chief.
The Turkish leader also appointed a new justice minister, naming former deputy prime minister Bekir Bozdag to replace veteran ruling party member Abdulhamit Gul.
“I have resigned from my duties at the ministry of justice, which I have been serving since July 19, 2017,” Gul wrote on Twitter.
“I would like to express my gratitude… for accepting my request,” he added without explaining his decision.