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Turkish gov’t removes deputy head of TurkStat after inflation announced at 24.52 pct

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Enver Taştı, deputy president of the Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkStat), was removed the same day TurkStat announced that annual inflation in Turkey had hit a record 24.52 percent, the Sözcü daily reported on Saturday.

According to the report Taşçı, who has managed the inflation calculation department for years, was replaced by Yinal Yağan, who worked with Berat Albayrak, Turkey’s treasury and finance minister and son-in-law of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, when Albayrak was minister of energy.

Taşçı was appointed as a consultant to TurkStat.

Consumer inflation climbed to one of the highest levels since Erdoğan came to power 15 years ago.

TurkStat announced on Oct. 3 that annual inflation had reached 24.52 percent in September, up from 17.90 in August. The monthly rate was 6.3 percent, driven by an across-the-board spike provoked by the lira’s meltdown.

“We have left the worst behind. September was the worst month for inflation expectations,” Albayrak told news channel NTV following the inflation announcement.

Albayrak also blamed hoarders and speculators and predicted inflation would stop rising in October.

“As we mentioned in our new economic program, we will set a specific program for a total fight against inflation,” added Albayrak.

The new economic program, which was announced on Sept. 20, sets the inflation target for 2018 at 20.8 percent, 15.9 percent for the next year, 9.8 percent for 2020 and 6 percent for 2021.

Economist Steve Hanke on Saturday announced on Twitter with a graphic that Turkey’s annual inflation for Oct. 6, 2018  is 77 percent.

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