President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he will be more effective in Turkey’s economy and monetary policy if he wins the June 24 elections.
In an interview with Bloomberg TV in London on Monday, Erdogan said: “When the people fall into difficulties because of monetary policies, who are they going to hold accountable?
“They will hold the president accountable. Since they will ask the president about it, we have to give off the image of a president who’s influential on monetary policies.”
He said steps would be taken to protect Turkish interests.
“However, we will take these steps to protect Turkey's interests. We will do whatever it takes for our country’s interests.”
About how ties with the Central Bank will continue, Erdogan said: "We have a relationship with the Central Bank now, and it will continue in the same direction. We are not new in country management, we are not just taking over the duty; We have been running the country continuously for 16 years."
He said monetary policies will be applied in accordance with global principles.
"This management approach is what is in America, what it is in Europe, it will be the same in Turkey. Something that is legitimate for them cannot be illegitimate for us. Everyone knows that.
“We will take our steps accordingly. We will never have our country lose."
Erdogan also said Turkey’s Central Bank is independent, but it will make evaluations according to the president’s signals. He said cutting interests will bring lower inflation.
S-400 system from Russia
He also said the effectiveness of the president in the new presidential system will change.
“We are going to do this so we can be held accountable for the responsibility we’ve taken,” he said.
This April, the parliament passed a bill for early elections, cementing Turkey’s move to a presidential system.
In the April 2017 referendum, Turkish voters approved the switch from a parliamentary system to a presidential one.
Asked if Turkey was prepared in case the U.S. imposes sanctions after purchasing S-400 missiles from Russia with NATO systems, Erdogan said Turkey was a country of NATO and it cannot cut ties with Russia.
Erdogan recalled NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg’s words that the Turkish plan to buy Russia’s S-400 air defense missile system reflects the country’s "national decision".
“At this moment, we have liberty and independence — in terms of protectionism and measures that we need — the ability to receive such needs from any of our allies,” he said.
“If we cannot get these [needs met] from the U.S., if the Senate does not allow it, if Congress does not allow it, are we not going to look after ourselves? Of course, we will look after ourselves.”
He added: “Right now, I don’t know whether the U.S. will impose any sanctions. But there is one thing I know. We take products from Russia such as natural gas, oil which I think as strategic products especially for us. We cannot cut our ties with Russia at this point.
“If we’re allies with the U.S., we need solidarity, not sanctions. You [U.S.] will support terror organizations but you will impose sanctions on Turkey. What a nonsense,” he said.
Responsibility for killing Palestinians
Last December, Turkey announced it had concluded an agreement with Russia for the purchase of two S-400 systems by late 2019.
On April 3, Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin said in Ankara that they had agreed to shorten the duration of the systems’ delivery. The delivery is expected to start in late 2019-early 2020.
Erdogan commented on the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.
He said: “These are not right. And these are all developments that cause tension in the region, not the peace of the region.
“And we do not want the region to go to the tensions. Plus, this region is tired.”
On May 8, U.S. President Donald Trump announced his decision to withdraw his country from the Iran nuclear deal, saying "it was defective at its core".
Erdogan also said he held two people responsible for killing dozens of Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip Monday: Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“I am not really aware of what the handshake between [Russian President] Putin and Netanyahu will bring to the moment,” Erdogan said.
A total of 59 Palestinian demonstrators were martyred and hundreds more injured by Israeli armed forces along the Gaza border Monday, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.
Thousands of Palestinians had gathered on the Gaza Strip’s eastern border since Monday morning to take part in protests aimed at commemorating the Nakba anniversary and to protest the relocation of the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.