Turkish President says he’s at war with cryptocurrencies

President brought controversy when he also stated that Turkey would not give crypto any Premium treatment

In a student’s event placed in Mersin, south Turkey, some controversy was born when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan answered one of the student’s questions. When asked about the government’s possibility to open up to cryptocurrencies in the future, Erdoğan was plain and clear: 

“On the contrary, we have a separate war, a separate struggle against them”

The question arose when the student asked if there was a relation of the recent platform for Turkish lira made by the government with a sign of a possible opening to cryptocurrencies in general. 

With his categorical answer, the Turkish President also added that cryptos would not receive “Premium treatment” and Turkey would continue with its own currency. 

Deputy chairman of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and a former prime minister, Binali Yıldırım, was also present and after giving his opinion, the President asked Binali what his thoughts were about the same matter. 

The deputy talked about security issues and cited “bad examples” related to cryptocurrencies such as a dogecoin scam investigated by the Turkish police back in August in which 1,500 investors were robbed, as well as crypto exchanges frauds that happened in the beginning of the year in the country.

For that, the Turkish central bank has already prohibited the use of cryptocurrencies for payments of goods and services through a notice back in April and in July, the government stated that it was preparing a bill to regulate cryptocurrencies.

The reality

However, it’s good to remember that with positive regulations for crypto the opposite of what President Erdoğan and deputy chairman Binali are afraid of can happen. 

Once digital assets’ activities are regulated to develop inside the country, the government can follow more closely and help prevent those frauds and scams to happen with investors. Also, the crypto market itself can grow and generate more possibilities to a country’s economic growth, with less boundaries. 

Finally, if we talk about the idea of a currency “war”, it would be very unfair to the Turkish lira. Over the past five years, the official currency of Turkey ($TRY) is down -66% against -14% $USD over the past 12 months alone. 

It seems like a war already lost.