Treasury and Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek has reportedly asked government-run Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) head Erhan Çetinkaya to reveal the “real” inflation figures.
Dissident journalist Mustafa Balbay on Aug. 5 said during a TELE1 broadcast that “Mehmet Şimşek called the head of TÜİK and said, 'Report the truth, I cannot make an (economic) program.’ That's why TÜİK has announced the latest figure, not real, but close to reality. There is no economic program at the moment.”
The Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) reported an annual inflation rate of 47.83 percent in July, whereas the independent inflation group ENAG put the figure at 122.88 percent. The TÜİK said inflation realized 9.49 percent monthly in July, whereas ENAG put this figure at 13.18 percent.
Experts and the public have argued that the real inflation is much higher than the official rates for years. ENAG, established by prominent Turkish bureaucrats, economists, and academics in 2020, has reported inflation rates significantly higher than the official figure announced by TÜİK.
In what was seen as a pivot to economic orthodoxy, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan appointed Mehmet Şimşek as finance minister and Hafize Gaye Erkan as central bank governor after his re-election in May. Erdoğan holds the unorthodox view that high interest rates cause inflation.