Turkish lira firms after Erdogan says central bank independent

Turkey’s lira firmed slightly on Wednesday following President Tayyip Erdogan’s assurances on the independence of the central bank and judiciary.

The currency has lost nearly 40 percent of its value this year on concerns over Erdogan’s grip on monetary policy. Commentators say the pressure on the lira has been exacerbated by a diplomatic dispute with Washington over the trial and detention of a U.S. pastor in Turkey.

In an exclusive interview with Reuters, Erdogan said on Tuesday he had no influence on monetary policy, and that the central bank’s latest 6.25 percentage point rate hike was a clear sign of its independence.

The lira <TRYTOM=D3> firmed to 6.1595 against the dollar by 0608 GMT from Tuesday’s close of 6.1680.

The lira hit a record low of 7.24 in August as Turkey and the United States, both members of NATO, imposed tariffs on each other over the row about evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson.

But Erdogan said during the interview that the weakening lira was not linked to the dispute with Washington and that Turkey’s judiciary, not politicians, would decide on Brunson’s fate.

ISTANBUL (Reuters)

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