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22 Feb, 2019 10:23

Erdogan says Turkey does not want a dime from the IMF

Erdogan says Turkey does not want a dime from the IMF

Turkey does not want to be on the hook with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the country’s leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, as he blasted the Washington-based organization.

“I told the IMF chair in Davos [at the time] ‘You are not the prime minister of Turkey, I am. You do not have a job to run Turkey, take your money and leave the rest’… Now we have no debts to the IMF,” Erdogan told a crowd in the western province of Denizli on Thursday, as quoted by Hurriyet.

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The Turkish president noted that when he came to power, Ankara owed the IMF $23.5 billion before finally clearing the debt. Now he says the opposition, and Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıcdaroglu in particular, wants to ask for a loan again if he gets to rule the country.

Earlier this month, Erdogan said that Ankara “closed the book on the IMF” and is not going to ever open it again. The country paid off its debt to the organization in 2013 and is now among few countries owing nothing to the IMF.

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Meanwhile, Turkey’s top economic body ruled out seeking support from the international lender amid speculation that Ankara is discussing a rescue package.

“It’s out of the question for Turkey’s path to cross with that of the IMF,” the Treasury and Finance Ministry said in a statement on February 1, as cited by Reuters.

Ankara has repeatedly refused to put on the IMF “yoke” despite facing economic troubles. Last year, its national currency, the lira, lost more than 40 percent of its value, triggering more than 20 percent inflation. The difficulties were partly triggered by sanctions and tariffs imposed by the US as relations between the two NATO allies soured.

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