The crypto expert chosen by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to serve on the Central Bank board is former Ziraat Bank Deputy Chief Executive and current Ziraat CEO Serdar Gormez. He will assume his new position as a deputy board member of the Central Bank of Turkey, effective July 15, 2020. He replaces Aysenur Bahce who held the post since May 2018.
Gormez holds a Master’s degree in banking from Koc University in Istanbul, and has worked in banking for over 20 years. He has held positions in both the public and private sector, ranging from deputy general manager of Denizbank to head of Ziraat Bank’s banking operations department. He has also served as the general manager of Denizbank’s Credit Department, and the chief executive of Ziraat Bank Turkey.
Gormez has been an outspoken advocate of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, saying in 2017 that cryptocurrencies had “great potential” for the banking sector and urging banks to “start making investments in such technologies.”
Critics of Erdogan’s appointment of Gormez worry that his pro-cryptocurrency stance could tilt Turkish monetary policy in a direction that would damage the Turkish lira. But despite his enthusiasm for cryptocurrencies, Gormez has said that he will oppose any moves by the central bank to issue a digital currency that would compete with the lira. He has also emphasized the importance of the bank maintaining financial stability for the country’s economy.