In a Sept 18 meeting that took place in the city of Mersin with students from 81 provinces, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the country was at war with cryptocurrencies.
President Erdogan asserted that the country has no problem with the spread of digital assets but that it would carry on with its own money, which he believes is part of the national identity.
Erdogan’s comments come at the heels of the creation of a new platform to research and test a digitalized version of the Turkish lira earlier this month. The first stage will see the project undergo limited tests that are meant to determine its viability, and the results of the pilot phase will be announced next year.
Exploring the issuance of a CBDC was included in Erdogan’s Annual Presidential Program back in 2019.
Turkey’s economy has been plagued by out-of-control inflation and currency depreciation, yet it ranks as one of the top countries by cryptocurrency adoption.
In late March, Google searches for the term “Bitcoin” soared by more than 500 percent after Erdogan sacked the central bank head, and the value of the lira collapsed by a whopping 17 percent within one day.
The President is arguably looking to dissuade Turks from putting their savings into the speculative asset since decentralized cryptocurrencies are out of his reach.
As reported by BTC PEERS, Turkey’s Central Bank imposed a ban on cryptocurrency payments in mid-April, restricting local companies from conducting transactions that involve digital assets. Regulatory uncertainty, extremely high volatility, and crime were cited as the major reasons behind the decision.