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Turkey’s Erdoğan picks crypto professor for central bank board: Report

Fatma Özkul has been a lecturer at Marmara University in Istanbul since 2012, with an academic focus on accounting, finance, auditing, blockchain and digital assets.



Source: Cointelegraph

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has reportedly appointed professor Fatma Özkul, an expert in crypto assets and blockchain technology, to the central bank’s monetary body.

According to Bloomberg, a decree nominating Özkul was released on Dec. 22. She has been a lecturer at Marmara University in Istanbul since 2012, with an academic focus on accounting, finance and auditing. Her research area extends to blockchain technology and digital assets; she authored a book on crypto asset accounting in 2022, notes her university profile.

Özkul is the newest member of Turkey’s central bank’s Monetary Policy Committee, whose primary duty is to set the benchmark interest rate to control inflation. The Committee raised the country’s interest rate by 2.5 percentage points to 42.5% on Dec. 21, after Turkey’s inflation rate topped 61.98% in November.

Erdoğan reportedly formed a new economic team after winning Turkey’s general election in May, appointing as governor of the central bank former Goldman Sachs banker Hafize Gaye Erkan. In 2022, the central bank successfully conducted the initial test of its own digital currency, the Digital Turkish Lira.

The economic landscape has been boosting crypto adoption in the country. A report from blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis shows that Turkey has ranked fourth globally in raw crypto transaction volumes, with approximately $170 billion in activity between July 2022 and June 2023, just behind the United States, India and the United Kingdom.

In response to the rise in crypto transactions, Turkish authorities are reportedly considering regulations for its crypto market, with a focus on licensing and taxation to remove the country from the “grey list” of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

The upcoming regulations are expected to establish specific licensing requirements to prevent system misuse, covering various aspects from capital adequacy standards, digital security enhancements and custody services to reserve verifications.

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