Turkey’s Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), in conjunction with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), have expressed support to develop a state-owned cryptocurrency.

The vice president of the Nationalist Action Party (MHP), Ahmet Kenan Tanrikulu, wrote a 22-page report to highlight the regulatory vacuum that currently exists in Turkey on cryptocurrency. The report also made a series of policy recommendations for the development of a regulatory framework for virtual currencies, including support for developing a Turkish owned cryptocurrency.

Turkish government had in recent past criticized  cryptocurrencies, and warned investors of the dangers of the volatile market, with the religious authorities describing cryptocurrencies as un-Islamic. However, Mr Tanrikulu feels the country is failing to adopt the revolutionary technology.

As reported by Al-Monitor, Ahmet Kenan Tanrikulu, the MHP deputy chair and former minister of industry has presented a proposal for a “national Bitcoin” – “Turkcoin”.

“The world is advancing toward a new digital system. Turkey should create its own digital system and currency before it’s too late.”

“We need to create the infrastructure for the blockchain database. There are nearly 1,400 digital currencies in the world today and many countries are using them. We, too, can create a digital currency, based on companies in the Wealth Fund. Since the demand exists, we should create and release our own digital currency. Opposing those currencies is meaningless. This is a national issue which requires a national consensus,” he said.

The minister acknowledged the need for cryptocurrency regulation to combat its use for illegal activities. He noted that a large number of Turkish citizens have adopted the digital money trade despite the current legal restrictions on cryptocurrency.

However, since the Turkish Penal Code does not include any prohibition on the use of digital currencies, Tanrikulu pointed out that the purchase, sale and use of cryptocurrencies in the country is not illegal. His report also advises the government to introduce measures and instruments that generate revenue in the burgeoning cryptocurrency market.

In an interview with CNN earlier this month, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek  had expressed support for the development of a national cryptocurrency. He stated:

 “We intend to start our own work on digital currencies. We attach great importance to digitization.”

After the launch of petro coin, a Venezuelan owned digital currency, quite a number of countries have indicated interests in national cryptocurrency. Both the US and Iranian government had earlier stated proposals on developing a local currency.


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