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Erdoğan dismisses reports of influence on CB operations by governor’s family as ‘gossip’

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has publicly defended Hafize Gaye Erkan, the governor of the Turkish Central Bank (TCMB), amid growing accusations against her family’s alleged influence over the bank’s operations.

The controversy began when Büşra Bozkurt, a former TCMB employee, accused Erol Erkan, the father of the TCMB governor, of exerting influence on the bank’s operations and personnel decisions, claiming she was fired due to Erol Erkan’s direct intervention. Bozkurt filed a formal complaint with the Presidential Communications Center (CİMER), alleging misconduct and misuse of resources by the Erkan family.

Bozkurt even went so far as to claim that Erol Erkan slapped a member of the TCMB staff in the bank’s premises and that there is surveillance footage of the incident.

These allegations, which include Erol Erkan’s regular presence at the TCMB headquarters and his involvement in internal decisions, have sparked significant concern both within the bank and in political circles. İYİ (Good) Party lawmaker Turhan Çömez has sought clarification from Minister of Treasury and Finance Mehmet Şimşek regarding these claims.

During a party meeting in Ankara, Erdoğan criticized the reports as baseless rumors aimed at destroying the country’s economic stability.

Erdoğan emphasized the achievements of the central bank, notably its foreign reserves, and condemned the efforts to undermine the institution with what he described as “mind-boggling gossip.” He dismissed the recent allegations as a campaign designed to disrupt the hard-earned trust and stability in Turkey’s economy.

Hafize Gaye Erkan, who previously worked in the United States with firms like Goldman Sachs and First Republic Bank, has denied the allegations, describing them as unfounded and malicious attacks on the credibility of the TCMB. She stated her intention to take legal action against the responsible parties.

On Wednesday Hafize Gaye Erkan also made a noteworthy public appearance during the recent visit of Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi to Ankara. She was present to receive Raisi at Esenboğan Airport, along with other high-ranking officials, including Turkey-Iran Joint Economic Committee Co-chair and Minister of Youth and Sports Osman Aşkın Bak. Erkan’s participation in an important diplomatic event amid ongoing public scrutiny over her and her family’s role at the TCMB was interpreted by many as government’s backing of Erkan against the accusations.

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