Turkey Central Bank Chief Hafize Gaye Erkan has announced her decision to depart from the position amidst allegations of corruption on Friday, February 2.
As the first woman governor of the country’s national bank, Erkan took office on June 8, 2023.
Her policies and economic decisions including that of increased interest rates helped combat inflation and largely benefited the country in terms of foreign investments and economic reserves. The bank’s key rate has gone up to 45% from a previous 8.5%.
The inflation which soared to 65% last year is expected to go down around June. The changing economy will provide a huge respite to the Turks who have continued to struggle with unaffordable housing and other need in recent years.
Similarly, foreign investors like Pimco and Vanguard started purchasing Turkey’s assets last year indicating an increased faith in the Erkan-led programme.
Why has Hafize resigned?
Despite achieving such commendable feats, Hafize has had to put up with some serious allegations in the last few months. The debacle was triggered by an article published by opposition newspaper Sozcu, in which an individual accused Erkan’s father of “wrongfully dismissing” her.
The central bank chief then responded by stating that the baseless claims were unnecessarily targeting her, her family and the bank and she would appropriate legal action against those responsible for the smudge campaign. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also extended his support to Erkan, alleging that the “rumors’ were being used to “undermine the economic progress” of Turkey.
The 44-year-old bank chief who has over two decades worth of work experience in banking and management in the US private sector under her belt, shared a lengthy post on X to make the news about her resignation official.
“Despite all these positive developments, as is known to the public, a major reputation assassination campaign has recently been organized against me. In order to prevent my family and my innocent child, who is not even one and a half years old, from being further affected by this process, I have requested from our President to be pardoned from my duty, which I have been carrying out with honor since the first day,” stated Erkan.
She further thanked President Erdogan, the Minister of Treasury and Finance and her colleagues for their unwavering support.
According to Reuters, Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek further confirmed that Erkan’s decision was entirely personal and that the economic programme will continue “uninterrupted”.
Turkey Appoints New Central Bank Chief
President Erdogan has announced the appointment of Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey, Fatih Karahan as the new chief. The Official Gazette made the news official early on Saturday, February 3, a few hours after the official resignation of Erkan.
Karahan was previously associated with American e-commerce juggernaut Amazon as a senior economist. He has a doctorate in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and formerly worked with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York as a economist.