DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - The Turkish central bank is independent and is free to change interest rates, Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek said on Thursday.

"I want the central bank to safeguard price stability and inflation targets," Simsek told Reuters on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos. "I am all in favor of central bank independence."

Asked if he could reassure investors the central bank was not under pressure from the government to hold off raising rates, Simsek said:

"There is nothing holding them back legally."

(Reporting by Sujata Rao; Editing by Daren Butler)