Main oppotion leader Kilicdaroglu challenges Erdogan’s FX reserve math

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu claimed yesterday (August 25) that the foreign exchange reserves of the Central Bank are currently at minus 53 billion dollars.


In response to an earlier statement by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan that the reserves are currently at 106 billion dollars, Kılıçdaroğlu said most of this money was actually loans taken out from other countries.


“We borrowed money from China, Qatar and South Korea and put this money in the vault of the Central Bank. It’s called ‘swap’ in economics. It’s not our but other people’s money,” he remarked during an event in the capital, Ankara.

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“The person who ruled the state said, ‘The reserves of the Central Bank is at 109 billion dollars. It’ll be 115 billion dollars soon. Six and a half billion dollars will come from the IMF but he can’t mention the name of the IMF,” said Kılıçdaroğlu.


“So, how much are the reserves of the Central Bank in reality? Let me give you the number, it’s minus 53 billion 200 million dollars,” he remarked.


The issue has long been discussed with the opposition and economists accusing the government of draining the Central Bank reserves in a bid to keep the US dollar’s exchange rate from rising.


It is estimated that the government sold about 128 billion dollars in a couple of years to implement Erdoğan’s unconventional theory that elevated interest rates cause the inflation rate to rise.


The government has denied such criticism and offered various explanations as to where the Central Bank reserves were spent.


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Published By: Atilla Yeşilada

GlobalSource Partners’ Turkey Country Analyst Atilla Yesilada is the country’s leading political analyst and commentator. He is known throughout the finance and political science world for his thorough and outspoken coverage of Turkey’s political and financial developments. In addition to his extensive writing schedule, he is often called upon to provide his political expertise on major radio and television channels. Based in Istanbul, Atilla is co-founder of the information platform Istanbul Analytics and is one of GlobalSource’s local partners in Turkey. In addition to his consulting work and speaking engagements throughout the US, Europe and the Middle East, he writes regular columns for Turkey’s leading financial websites VATAN and and has contributed to the financial daily Referans and the liberal daily Radikal.