2.8. Communication Policy and Activities

In addition to the monetary policy it implements, the CBRT also acts diligently to conduct an efficient communication policy, in line with the accountability promises linked to the Central Bank instrumental independence. Therefore, in 2015, by improving its stance on communication and transparency, the CBRT aimed to enhance public confidence in the Bank’s policies and to reinforce the effectiveness of these policies.

The implications of the principle of accountability are explicitly set out in Article 42 of the CBRT Law. In accordance with Article 42, Governor Erdem Başçı delivered presentations on the economic outlook and monetary and exchange rate policy implementations before the President of the Republic of Turkey on 11 March 2015 and before the Council of Ministers on 27 April 2015. As required by the principle of accountability, the CBRT continued to publish, in 2015, its analytical balance sheet daily on its website. The CBRT also issued a report to make the results of the independent audits of the Bank balance sheet and income statements public. To serve the same purpose, the CBRT disclosed the rationale and consequences of its policy decisions via regular reports and presentations throughout the year.

Under the current monetary policy implementation, the CBRT’s main communication tools are the MPC decisions and the Inflation Reports. Via the Inflation Reports that are published on a predetermined calendar, the Bank informed the public about its general evaluations of international economic developments, inflation, supply and demand developments, financial markets, financial intermediation and public finance as well as its medium term inflation forecasts. Moreover, the Inflation Reports also contained thematic boxes on up-to-date issues regarding the Turkish economy. Accordingly, Inflation Reports were presented by Governor Erdem Başçı at briefings on 27 January 2015 and 30 July 2015 in Ankara and on 30 April 2015 and 28 October 2015 in Istanbul. As of 30 April 2015, these conferences have been webcast on the CBRT website.

In 2015, the Bank continued to post on its website the MPC decisions on short-term interest rates and other monetary policy instruments, as well as the summaries of the MPC meetings, on scheduled dates as was announced in the Monetary and Exchange Rate Policy for the 2015 document. On 9 December 2015, the CBRT shared with the public the Monetary and Exchange Rate Policy for 2016, and made public that the text of the Monetary and Exchange Rate Policy for 2017 would be released on 6 December 2016. Throughout 2015, the CBRT informed the public about the Bank’s main activities, and via 76 press releases, the changes in implementations that are of significant interest to the public.

To facilitate better public understanding of monthly inflation developments, the Bank issued the Monthly Price Developments Report on the day following the release of inflation figures.

The CBRT, which safeguards financial stability along with its primary objective of price stability, issued Financial Stability Reports on its website on 29 May 2015 and 30 November 2015 in accordance with its pre-announced calendar of data releases. Through the Financial Stability Reports, the CBRT shared its perspective on the overall financial sector with respect to the most recent developments both in Turkey and around the world.

With the aim of promoting the Bank and its policy implementations, the CBRT prepared several publications in 2015 and released them in both print and electronic formats. The CBRT published the booklet on the Financial Stability - Financial Stability Developments in Turkey (available only in Turkish) and circulated it to banks, universities’ economics departments, libraries, non-governmental organizations and various other institutions in Turkey. In addition, the Saving-Investment Dynamics and Current Account Balance Developments and G-20 Forum and 2015 Turkish Presidency (available only in Turkish) booklets were prepared. The Bank also continued to publish the quarterly CBRT Bulletin, which informs different segments of the public about CBRT’s policy implementations, its corporate structure, activities and publications. The Bulletin reaches a wide audience in Turkey and abroad and is also available on the CBRT website.

As part of direct communication, in 2015, Governor Erdem Başçı delivered various speeches and presentations in Turkey and abroad, through which he introduced the policies and implementations of the Bank and analyzed current economic developments. Within this scope, Governor Başçı delivered presentations at the Banks Association of Turkey (TBB) on 6 April 2015 in Ankara and on 29 September 2015 in Istanbul and explained the CBRT policies at events organized by various non-governmental organizations as well as at international meetings and conferences.

Presentations and speeches delivered by the Governor, the MPC members and senior Bank management and the videos of some of the Governor’s speeches are available on the CBRT website.

As part of its communication policy, the Bank has been holding meetings closed-to-the-press since May 2011 to meet the requests from bank economists for meetings on a technical level. These meetings, which are held in the presence of the MPC members as well as representatives from relevant departments of the Bank, start with a presentation on the latest macroeconomic developments made 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-andanswer session at which members of the MPC answer questions from economists. A total of nine meetings were held in 2015 (one in New York and the others in Ankara), attended by 341 Turkish and foreign economists and analysts. The presentations delivered at these meetings are posted on the CBRT website under the Technical Presentations menu.

The CBRT continued to administer its new website, which was revised not only to meet the information needs of a wide range of target groups, but also to enrich its content. The new website was launched on 27 September 2014. Meanwhile, work continued on the completion of mobile applications for both iOS and Android that will provide information on TL banknotes and their security features, as well as exchange rates, statistics, press releases, publications, and the Bank’s management.

In 2015, the application procedures for and the format of the “Informative Sessions for University Students” were revised and the content of the sessions was enriched. For this program, the Bank dedicated a specific page on its website (the page is in Turkish), and is accessible under the Education & Academic menu. Throughout 2015, a total of 1,080 students from 24 universities benefited from these informative sessions.

In 2015, 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, i.e. BIMER (the Communication Center of the Prime Ministry), both established pursuant to the Law on the Right to Information, and more recently, CIMER (the Communication Center of the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey) which was introduced in October 2015. Throughout 2015, a total of 1,820 applications were responded to via the Right to Information System, 345 applications via BIMER and 12 applications via CIMER.

In accordance with the framework defined by the Prime Ministry Circular dated 5 June 2014 on Financial Access, Financial Education and Financial Consumer Protection Strategy and Action Plans to facilitate financial education, the CBRT has for some time been actively using, its social media accounts, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Flickr. Twitter has become the most actively used social media channel. In 2015, more than 500 tweets were posted and the CBRT reached approximately 36,000 followers for its Twitter account in Turkish. Remarks by Governor Başçı were also shared on the CBRT’s YouTube channel.

In the framework of the same Prime Ministry Circular, the CBRT held several activities in 2015 to encourage the use of the kurus (Turkish coins) and foster the habit of saving. As part of these informative activities, the CBRT set up a booth in the 37th International Children’s Festival organized by the TRT on 15-23 April 2015 in Antalya. During this eight-day Festival, the Bank distributed to children various CBRT-designed materials, bearing the Turkish lira signs and emphasizing concepts such as savings, the kurus, money, money boxes and banks. Additionally, the CBRT distributed 5,000 copies of the January 2015 issue of the TUBITAK’s (the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey) popular science magazine for children “The Curious Puppy”, which was specifically on money. In the scope of the efforts towards encouraging the use of the kurus and fostering the habit of saving, a series of stories entitled the “Kurus Family”, explaining the basic concepts of saving habits and the use of the kurus, was published in the TRT Child Magazine. In 2015, a total of 114,000 TRT Child Magazines were distributed in schools and various events. The CBRT published “Kurus Family” stories on its website and social media accounts.

Besides these, monitoring and reporting global developments in the monetary policy decision making process are as important as monitoring the domestic economic developments. Global economic developments were monitored on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Economic analyses oriented toward these developments were reported to the senior management and internally, in the form of periodic presentations and reports. These informative documents and presentations are important contributions to the MPC’s decision-making process.