Turkish Central Bank Governor Hafize Gaye Erkan, the first woman to hold that position in Turkey, has announced her resignation, citing an ongoing “character assassination” campaign against her because of her family.
Erkan made the surprise announcement on her X account on Friday evening in the wake of a recent controversy about her family’s alleged influence on the bank’s operations and personnel decisions.
Kamuoyunun malumu olduğu üzere 8 Haziran 2023 tarihinden bu yana Türkiye Cumhuriyet Merkez Bankası Başkanlığı görevini sürdürmekteyim.
Her bir karış toprağı için bedel ödenmiş bu topraklarda doğmuş, büyümüş, eğitim görmüş bir vatan evladı olarak, bu kutsal görev şahsıma tevdi…
— Hafize Gaye Erkan (@hafizegayeerkan) February 2, 2024
She said she had asked President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to allow her to resign due to the “character assassination campaign” against her. “A major reputation assassination campaign has recently been organized against me,” Erkan said in her statement. She added that she was stepping down “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 …”
The controversy began last month when former central bank employee Büşra Bozkurt accused Erol Erkan, the father of Hafize Gaye Erkan, 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.
Hafize Gaye Erkan, who previously worked in the United States with Goldman Sachs and First Republic Bank, denied the allegations, describing them as unfounded and malicious attacks on the credibility of the bank. She stated her intention to take legal action against the responsible parties.
Erkan said she was resigning despite the positive developments in the Turkish economy since she assumed the post last June along with newly named finance minister Mehmet Şimşek, putting an economic program into action in order to stop Turkey’s skyrocketing inflation.
She offered her thanks to Erdoğan and Şimşek, adding that she was proud to occupy the post as the first female central bank governor.
When Erkan was grilled by some circles due to the alleged influence of her family on the bank operations, Erdoğan stood behind her after keeping his silence for some time. He described the allegations about her as “mind-boggling gossip,” claiming that they were part of a campaign designed to disrupt the hard-earned trust and stability in Turkey’s economy.