ISTANBUL, Oct 14 (Reuters) – Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan dismissed three central bank monetary policy committee (MPC) members on Thursday, appointing two new members in their place, the latest in a series of personnel changes in the bank's top management. read more
The move came soon after Erdogan met Governor Sahap Kavcioglu, who himself was only appointed to the post in March, with the president having fired his three predecessors in the last 2-1/2 years over policy disagreements.
The rapid turnover has hurt monetary policy credibility, and has left inflation high and the lira weak. Here is a summary of personnel changes under the last four central bank governors:
GOVERNOR SAHAP KAVCIOGLU (SINCE MARCH 20, 2021):
An ex-banker who was not well known among mainstream economists, Kavcioglu's arrival at the bank was met with a sharp market sell-off. His previous columns in a pro-government newspaper showed he shared Erdogan's unorthodox view that high rates cause inflation, so investors prepared for prompt cuts. He held rates steady through the summer as inflation rose, but as Erdogan publicly promised lower rates and inflation, Kavcioglu pivoted in September. He urged investors to focus on a lower, core inflation measure, paving the way to a surprise 100 basis-point rate cut last month.
DEPUTY GOVERNOR TAHA CAKMAK (SINCE OCT 14, 2021):
Cakmak, born in 1981, was previously a deputy chairman at Turkey's BDDK banking watchdog from 2019, having worked before that in the social insurance institution and in various posts at the state Ziraat Bank between 2005-2019, including as head of the human resources department.
MPC MEMBER YUSUF TUNA (SINCE OCT 14, 2021):
Born in 1959, Tuna has an academic background and became a professor in 1997. He worked as a management board member at the BDDK banking watchdog between 2003-2009. He has published four books and has worked as a consultant on many doctorate theses.
DEPUTY GOVERNOR SEMIH TUMEN (MAY 25, 2021 – OCT 14, 2021):
Tumen was an economics department head at Ankara's TED University who previously worked at the bank from 2002 to 2018 in various roles, including as an economist and executive in the research and monetary policy department.
MPC MEMBER ABDULLAH YAVAS (MARCH 11, 2008 – OCT 14, 2021):
Yavas earned an economics PhD from the University of Iowa in 1991, becoming an assistant professor in 1992 at Penn State's Smeal College of Business Administration. He became an associate professor in 2001 and lectured at the University of Michigan and University of Hong Kong as an honorary visiting fellow. More than 40 of his academic studies have been published in journals.
DEPUTY GOVERNOR UGUR NAMIK KUCUK (AUG 14, 2018 – OCT 14, 2021):
Kucuk worked on the teaching staff of Roma University between 2005-2009 and as economist in the Italian economy and finance ministry between 2009-2011. He subsequently worked as economist, including with Turkey's Garanti Bank until 2017, when he became a chief adviser in the central bank.
DEPUTY GOVERNOR OGUZHAN OZBAS (AUG 30, 2019 – MAY 25, 2021):
Ozbas, who was replaced by Tumen, received his PhD in financial economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan School of Management. He then joined the business school at the University of Southern California in 2002 and taught there as well as directing a doctoral programme. His scholarly articles have been published and cited in leading academic journals.
DEPUTY GOVERNOR MUSTAFA DUMAN (SINCE MARCH 30, 2021):
Duman received a master's degree in MBA from City University Business School, London in 1999. From 2001, he served as head of risk management at Millennium BCP. In 2011, he became CFO at Morgan Stanley in Turkey and was appointed assistant general manager in January 2013. In August 2020, he became the bank's general manager. He served as Morgan Stanley's regional CFO for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) between 2015 and 2019.
MPC MEMBER ELIF HAYKIR HOBIKOGLU (SINCE APRIL 8, 2021):
Hobikoglu earned her PhD in the department of economics at Istanbul University in 2009 and became an associate professor of macroeconomics in 2014 and professor in 2019. She has authored many books and academic studies on macroeconomics, monetary policy, behavioural finance, growth and development. She became a member of the central bank's board on May 18, 2020 and joined the MPC in April.
GOVERNOR NACI AGBAL (NOV 7, 2020 – MARCH 20, 2021):
A former finance minister and long-time member of Erdogan's AK Party, Agbal's appointment was followed a day later by the resignation of finance minister Berat Albayrak, Erdogan's son-in-law. Days earlier, Agbal had met Erdogan to warn that a policy of FX interventions had left the central bank's reserves vulnerable. Agbal quickly emerged as a respected inflation hawk and his short stint was dominated by aggressive rate hikes that picked up where his predecessor Murat Uysal had left off, hiking rates to 19% days before he was fired. read more
GOVERNOR MURAT UYSAL (JULY 6, 2019 – NOV 7, 2020):
Weeks after becoming governor, Uysal began an aggressive easing cycle, bringing the policy rate as low as 8.25% in 2020, from 24%. The cuts helped ease financial stresses as the coronavirus pandemic hit but he reversed course and began tightening again in his last few months. A former private-sector banker and gold trader, Uysal – together with Albayrak – oversaw an unorthodox and risky policy of foreign-exchange interventions in 2019 and 2020 that severely diminished the bank's hard currency reserves.
MURAT CETINKAYA (APRIL 19, 2016 – JULY 6, 2019):
Cetinkaya's early months were the last when the inflation rate was within an official target range around 5%. In 2018 he faced rising price pressures and lira depreciation that led to a full-blown currency crisis. Analysts said he was too slow to head off the crisis by raising the policy rate to 24% in September 2018, with the economy tipping into a deep downturn. He nonetheless held policy steady and brought about a sharp fall in annual inflation through most of 2019.
Reporting by Daren Butler and Jonathan Spicer