Turkish central bank cuts key rate deeply under new governor

A window cleaner waves as he takes a break from repelling down the side of a high-rise building in Istanbul, Monday, July 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey's central bank has slashed the key interest deeply, by 4.25 percentage points, in a first monetary policy meeting under its new governor.

The interest rate was cut Thursday to 19.75% from 24%.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan dismissed the previous governor, Murat Cetinkaya, on July 6 over disagreements on interest rate cuts and reiterated his belief that interest rates are "the mother of all evil."

Cetinkaya was replaced by Murat Uysal, the deputy governor.

Turkey's currency nosedived last year over concerns about high levels of foreign debt, Erdogan's economic policies and a diplomatic dispute with the United States. At the time, the central bank raised interest rates sharply, from 17.75 % to 24% to support the currency and fight inflation. The rate had remained unchanged since then.

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