Erdogan picks crypto professor for central bank board

President Erdoğan has  appointed professor (Ms) Fatma Ozkul, an expert in crypto assets and blockchain technology, to the central bank’s monetary body.


According to Bloomberg, a decree nominating Ozkul 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, having authored a book on crypto asset accounting in 2022, notes her university profile.


Ozkul is the newest member of Turkey’s central bank 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 formed a new economic team after winning Turkey’s general election in May, appointing as a 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 high-inflation economic landscape has been a boon to 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.


Turkşsh broadcaster NTV adds:  While studies on crypto asset regulation continue in Turkey, a critical appointment was made to the Central Bank Monetary Policy Board. Prof Fatma Özkul  was appointed as a member of the Monetary Policy Committee (PPK).

Özkul, who was appointed to the interest rate determination committee of the Central Bank, is known for his work on crypto assets and blockchain technology. According to her profile on the university’s website, Özkul’s main research areas include accounting, finance, blockchain technology and crypto assets. The book “Crypto Asset Accounting” written by Özkul was chosen as the best finance and economics book in 2023.


Crypto regulation, FATF gray list dominates Simsek’s agenda

Minister of Treasury and Finance Mehmet Şimşek announced in November that the only pre-condition  to graduate  from the gray list of FATF was crypto asset regulation. Şimşek said that all criteria would be met with the cryptocurrency regulation. Comprehensive regulations such as transaction tax and minimum capital requirement for companies are expected to be introduced to the Parliament in the first months of the new year.


On the other hand, studies on Digital Lira continue. It was stated in theMedium Term Economic Program (MTP) that administrative regulations regarding the Central Bank Digital Turkish Lira would be made in the last quarter of 2024.

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Published By: Atilla Yeşilada

GlobalSource Partners’ Turkey Country Analyst Atilla Yesilada is the country’s leading political analyst and commentator. He is known throughout the finance and political science world for his thorough and outspoken coverage of Turkey’s political and financial developments. In addition to his extensive writing schedule, he is often called upon to provide his political expertise on major radio and television channels. Based in Istanbul, Atilla is co-founder of the information platform Istanbul Analytics and is one of GlobalSource’s local partners in Turkey. In addition to his consulting work and speaking engagements throughout the US, Europe and the Middle East, he writes regular columns for Turkey’s leading financial websites VATAN and and has contributed to the financial daily Referans and the liberal daily Radikal.