Binali Yildirim says that if banks fail to bring down rates, the government will take things into its own hands.

Turkish Premier Binali Yildirim on Wednesday urged the Turkish banking sector to cut interest rates, saying that otherwise the government will take things into its own hands.

“The train is about to leave [the station]. I am making the last call. Either you adopt a reasonable level for interest rates or we will take measures” to reduce them, Yildirim told the opening ceremony of a new Istanbul Chamber of Industry building.

“Our bankers should not take this as a threat. We have tools in hand,” he added.

Yildirim underlined that last year the government took necessary measures to boost the nation’s economic growth beyond all predictions.

Turkey's economy grew 5 percent in the first quarter of 2017 compared with the same period in 2016, the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) reported Monday.

The figure was higher than the median forecast by Anadolu Agency’s Finance Desk, which predicted 3.8 percent growth for the first quarter.

In 2016, Turkey’s economy grew 2.9 percent despite a series of terror attacks and a deadly coup attempt in July.

“We became the number three [country] after China and India [for economic growth]. Two-fold Europe’s,” Yildirim added.

He said Turkey’s economic indicators are better than the rest of the world’s.

“We should guarantee sustainable development. Investments need to be inclusive. Development should be inclusive. We have opportunities to do these.

“Turkey has opportunities, resources, stability and everything” needed for economic development, he said.

Yildirim added that Turkey has both security and stability, which are vital for investment and economic growth.

He urged greater attention to research and development, saying that the government plans to boost R&D expenditures to 3 percent of GDP.

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