Turkish Central Bank Chief Says Reports on Family Are Baseless

(Bloomberg) -- Turkish Central Bank Governor Hafize Gaye Erkan said allegations that her family is meddling in the monetary authority’s affairs are baseless, as opposition lawmakers escalated the issue to parliament.

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One of Turkey’s highest-circulated newspapers, Sozcu, on Thursday published details from a complaint apparently filed with the Turkish Presidency by a former central bank employee in relation to her dismissal.

In the document’s first page, reproduced on the newspaper’s website, the former central bank employee describes concerns she shared with Erol Erkan, the governor’s father, regarding a change in the employee’s responsibilities. While the following page was not published, the article also includes the former employee’s allegation that she was dismissed at the request of Erol Erkan after the incident.

Bloomberg was not able to independently verify the document published by the newspaper.

Erol Erkan has no official role at the bank.

The employee also alleged that Erol Erkan acted like an “unofficial administrator” at the bank and that he was using bank resources, such as being allocated a car, according to the Sozcu report.

In a statement on her personal X account, Erkan vowed to take legal action.

“In recent days news stories have been knowingly circulated targeting me and my family that damage trust in the bank and that don’t align with reality.” she said.

The central bank didn’t comment on the allegations when reached by Bloomberg.

Deniz Demir, an MP from the main opposition Republican People’s Party, criticized the central bank, calling it “the backyard of a family.” Turhan Comez of the opposition IYI Party submitted a parliamentary question, seeking confirmation of the allegations and urging Treasury & Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek to respond.

Erkan, a former banking executive at US-based First Republic Bank and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., was installed as governor by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in June as part of a broader policy overhaul.

She and Simsek have received praise from investors for their efforts to restore Turkey’s international standing and quell inflation that’s set to reach 70% in the coming months.

The governor, who worked in the US for about two decades, rarely makes media appearances.

Her first interview as governor last month drew backlash on social media for her complaint that she was unable to find an affordable apartment in Istanbul. “We couldn’t find a place in Istanbul, it’s extremely expensive. We settled into my parents’ house and are staying there,” she said.

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