Inflation forces Turkey’s central bank boss to move in with parents

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The new head of Turkey’s central bank said she has been priced out of Istanbul’s property market by rampant inflation, leaving no choice for the former finance executive but to move back in with her parents.

“We haven’t found a home in Istanbul. It’s terribly expensive. We’ve moved in with my parents,” 44-year-old Hafize Gaye Erkan, who took up her post in June after two decades in the United States, told the Hurriyet newspaper.

Erkan previously worked at firms including Goldman Sachs and First Republic Bank — and is now getting a crash course in the soaring prices that have seen many young people struggling to find lodgings.


“Here, the most important problem for us is the supply of social housing. There is an increase in rents due to the lack of social housing,” she said.

She said “our President and Vice President also focus on this issue” of increase in rents.

“Home and food are very important. It has been a long time since our state solved the health issue. Is it possible that Istanbul has gotten more expensive than Manhattan? We haven’t found a house in Istanbul. It’s terribly expensive. We settled with my parents and are staying with them,” Erkan said.

Year-on-year inflation stood at 62 percent in November as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has allowed the lira currency to weaken while promising that a new team of economists with Wall Street experience would tackle years of economic crisis.

To quell growing anger, officials also capped rent increases at 25 percent — though experts say that has only amplified the housing tensions, as owners try to push out occupants, sometimes fraudulently, in order to set new and higher rents.

The central bank last month pushed up benchmark lending rates to 40 percent in a bid to get inflation under control.

“We’re nearing the end of our monetary tightening measures,” Erkan told the paper.