By Enyichukwu Enemanna
Turkey’s central bank head, Hafize Gaye Erkan says she has been priced out of Istanbul’s property market by rampant inflation, leaving her with no choice but to move back her parents’ apartment.
“We haven’t found a home in Istanbul. It’s terribly expensive. We’ve moved in with my parents,” 44-year-old Erkan, a former finance executive who took up her post in June after two decades in the United States, told the Hurriyet newspaper.
Erkan had previously worked at various firms including Goldman Sachs and First Republic Bank.
The soaring prices in the country has left her getting a crash course, even as many young people struggling to find lodgings over skyrocketing inflation.
“Is it possible that Istanbul has gotten more expensive than Manhattan?” she said.
Year-on-year inflation stood at 61 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.
Government had also capped rent increases at 25 percent to assuage the anger of citizens.
Experts however insist this has not worked as it has only succeeded in amplifying the housing tensions, as owners try to push out occupants, sometimes fraudulently, in order to set new and higher rents, an AFP report says.
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.