2.9. Communication Policy and Activıties

An efficient communication policy, accompanied by transparency, not only contributes to the effectiveness of central bank policies, but is also crucial for the central bank to keep accountability promises emanating from central bank independence. In 2013, the CBRT continued to give special emphasis to communication and transparency with a view to enhancing public confidence in the Bank as well as in its policies and to reinforcing the effectiveness of these policies.

Article 42 of the CBRT Law explains the regulations on the principle of accountability. In accordance with Article 42, Governor Erdem Başçı delivered a presentation on the economic outlook and monetary and exchange rate policy implementations before the Council of Ministers on 27 May 2013, and shared a presentation on the same topics with the Planning and Budget Commission of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey on 15 July 2013.

As required by the principle of accountability, in 2013, the CBRT continued to publish its analytical balance sheet daily on its website, as well as issue a report to make the results of the independent audits of the Bank balance sheet and income statements public. To serve the same objective, the CBRT also disclosed the rationale and consequences of its policy decisions via regular reports and presentations throughout the year.

Under the current monetary policy implementation, the MPC decisions and Inflation Reports are the main communication tools of the CBRT. Accordingly, Inflation Reports were announced at press conferences by Governor Erdem Başçı on 29 January 2013 and on 30 July 2013 in Ankara and on 30 April 2013 and 31 October 2013 in İstanbul. Via these Inflation Reports, the Bank informed the public about its general evaluations on international economic developments, inflation, supply and demand developments; financial markets, financial intermediation and public finance as well as medium term inflation and output gap forecasts.

In 2013, the Bank continued to post on its website MPC decisions on short-term interest rates and other monetary policy instruments as well as the summaries of the MPC meetings. On 24 December 2013, the CBRT shared with the public the Monetary and Exchange Rate Policy to be implemented in 2014, and announced that the text of Monetary and Exchange Rate Policy for 2015 would be released on 10 December 2014. The CBRT also informed the public throughout 2013, via press releases about the Bank’s main activities and the changes in implementations that are of high public concern.

In order for the public to better understand monthly inflation developments in the period between the issue of the official price statistics and the MPC meeting, the Bank continued to issue the Monthly Price Developments Report the day following the release of the inflation figures.

The CBRT, which safeguards financial stability along with its primary objective of price stability, issued the Financial Stability Reports on its website on 30 May 2013 and 28 November 2013 in accordance with its pre announced calendar of data release.

The Financial Stability Report includes an analysis of the most recent developments on the financial stability front both in Turkey and around the world as well as various studies and research conducted in the financial system.

With an aim of promoting the Bank and its policy implementations, the CBRT prepared several publications in 2013 and released them in both print and electronic formats. Two booklets, Monetary Transmission Mechanism and Inflation and Price Stability were published in 2013 and disseminated to banks, universities’ economics departments, libraries, non-governmental organizations and various other institutions in Turkey. The CBRT also continued to publish the quarterly CBRT Bulletin, which informs different segments of the public about its policy implementations as well as its corporate structure, activities and publications. The Bulletin reaches a wide audience in Turkey and abroad and is also accessible on the CBRT’s website.

In the form of direct communication, in 2013, Governor Erdem Başçı delivered various speeches and presentations in Turkey and abroad, introducing the policies and implementations of the Bank and analyzing current economic developments. Within this scope, Governor Başçı made presentations about the economic outlook and monetary and exchange rate policies at conferences that were open to the press and held by chambers of commerce and industry in Mardin (3 April 2013), Giresun (12 June 2013), Denizli (24 September 2013) and Gaziantep (11 December 2013). The Governor also explained CBRT’s policies at events organized by various non-governmental organizations as well as at international meetings and conferences. Additionally, Governor Başçı participated in Anadolu Agency’s Finance Desk program on 27 August 2013 and shared his views on the economic outlook and monetary policies. Presentations and speeches delivered by the Governor, MPC members and senior Bank management and videos of some of the Governor’s speeches are available on the CBRT website.

As part of its communication policies, the Bank has been holding meetings closed to the press since May 2011 in response to requests from bank economists for meetings on a technical level. These meetings, held in the presence of the MPC members as well as the representatives from relevant departments, start with a presentation on the latest macroeconomic developments, by either the Bank’s Chief Economist or the Executive Director of the Research and Monetary Policy Department. This presentation is followed by a question-answer session, where members of the MPC answer questions from economists. A total of 10 meetings were held in Ankara in 2013, attended by 450 Turkish and foreign economists and analysts. The presentations delivered in these meetings are posted on the Bank’s website under the Remarks/Technical Presentations menu.

The CBRT continued to use its website, its major means of communication, efficiently and effectively in 2013 and had an average of 121,000 hits per day on weekdays. Visitors accessed approximately 9.2 million pages in 2013. Press Releases on Interest Rates, Financial Stability Reports, Inflation Reports and Summaries of the MPC Meetings were the most frequently viewed.

Responding to demands from universities as well as public agencies and institutions, the Bank organized informative programs both in the Bank’s Head Office in Ankara and also outside Ankara in 2013. Through these programs, 17 groups of third and fourth year university students were informed about the history of the Bank, monetary and exchange rate policies and career opportunities.

In 2013, the CBRT continued to respond to requests for information via its electronic mail address, iletisimbilgi@tcmb.gov.tr, which was introduced specifically to ensure communication with individuals, institutions and establishments outside the Bank, as well as through the Unit on the Right to Information and also BIMER (the Communication Center of the Prime Ministry), both established pursuant to the Law on the Right to Information. Throughout 2013, a total of 11,129 applications were responded to via the Right to Information System and 1,376 applications were answered via BIMER.

In addition, the CBRT held several informative activities in 2013 to encourage the use of kurus (Turkish coins) and increase savings awareness. These activities were intended to improve savings awareness all over the country via the widespread use of kurus. Accordingly, the CBRT set up a booth in the International Children’s Festival organized by the TRT on 14-24 April 2013 in İzmir. The Bank distributed various materials to children designed by the CBRT that had the Turkish lira sign on them and emphasized concepts such as savings, kurus, money, piggy banks and banks. Children also watched cartoon films covering the same concepts in the CBRT’s booth.

In the scope of the kurus campaign, the Bank also set up booths in the 2nd Child and Youth Finance International Summit on 7-9 May 2013, the 1st Financial Literacy and Access Summit on 22 May 2013 and the 5th İzmir Economic Congress on 30 October-1 November 2013.

Moreover, the Bank staff visited some elementary schools in Ankara, informed students on various subjects, distributed materials produced specifically for the campaign and showed them cartoon films. Also, the Bank sent campaign-related materials to 78 schools in 32 cities upon requests for education materials.