(Adds more detail on dismissals, analyst comment)
ISTANBUL, June 12 Several mid-tier managers at
Turkey's central bank have been removed, including two general
managers and a private secretary to governor Erdem Basci,
sources familiar with the matter said late on Wednesday.
The sources gave no reason for the dismissals, nor did they
say who had ordered them. The central bank itself declined to
Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has frequently accused the
bank of doing too little to reduce borrowing costs.
However, the dismissed include the general manager in charge
of foreign relations and his deputy, and the general manager in
charge of payment systems, none of whom are directly involved in
monetary policy decisions, the sources said.
Dozens of executives at bodies including the banking and
telecoms regulators and state TV have been fired since the start
of the year in what is seen as part of a power struggle between
Erdogan and the influential U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen.
Erdogan blames Gulen, whose sympathisers say they number in
the millions, for a corruption inquiry that led to the
resignation of three cabinet ministers and the detention of
businessmen close to the government in December.
Many of those who have been fired are believed to be
associated with the cleric's Hizmet movement, which runs schools
and charities across Turkey and wields influence in institutions
including the police, judiciary and regulatory bodies.
"If true, (the central bank dismissals) would be
disappointing, and again it would raise questions about the
independence of the central bank," said Timothy Ash, head of
emerging markets research at Standard Bank in London.
"The hope would be that the CBRT (central bank) is still a
meritocracy, irrespective of political beliefs and faith."
The central bank, which ramped up rates in January partly to
defend the lira, cut them for the first time in a year last
month despite stubborn inflation, weeks after Erdogan called for
such a move.
Erdogan later said the bank's 50 basis point cut in its
one-week repo rate, the main rate at which it currently funds
the market, had not been enough.
(Reporting by Asli Kandemir; Writing by Nick Tattersall;
Editing by Toby Chopra)