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IMF Urges Turkey to Pursue ‘Sound’ Economic Policies

The International Monetary Fund on Thursday urged Turkish authorities faced with a falling currency and surging inflation to pursue “sound” economic policies to stabilize the situation.

However, the government in Ankara has not requested financial support from the global crisis lender, spokesman Gerry Rice told reporters.

“We continue to monitor developments closely. Again, I want to be clear, there has been no request from Turkey for an IMF financial program,” he said.

The crisis has hammered the nation’s currency, which has lost about 25 percent over the past month, and pushed inflation in August to a 15-year high.

Rice said that “in light of ongoing market volatility we believe the authorities would benefit from demonstrating a clear commitment to sound economic policies.”

And a critical part of this is “to ensure the full operational independence of the central bank to pursue its mandate of achieving price stability.”

Investors fear President Recep Tayyip Erdogan — who has vocally criticized interest rate policy — is pressuring the nominally independent central bank not to raise rates in order to maintain growth.

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