Prof Dr Hasan Hacak, president of the Central Advisory (Shariah) Board of Turkey
Can you briefly introduce yourself and your role in the Central Advisory Board?
Apart from being the president of the Central Advisory Board since October 2020, I am the head of the Department of Islamic Law at Marmara University’s Faculty of Theology and the deputy director of Marmara University’s Institute of Islamic Economics and Finance. The board was established under the Participation Banks Association of Turkey with a decision taken by the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency in February 2018 and started its activities in May 2018. The primary establishment purpose of the board is to determine the professional principle standards to be based on participation banking activities in Turkey. The decisions and standards issued by the Central Advisory Board are binding upon the participation banks operating in Turkey.
Please elaborate on the organizational structure of the board.
In accordance with the communiqué on the formation of the Central Advisory Board, there are seven members including myself as the board chairman and Prof Dr Ertugrul Boynukalin as the deputy chairman while the others are Prof Dr Abdullah Kahraman, Prof Dr Ahmet Yaman, Temel Haziroglu, Prof Dr Soner Duman and Assoc Dr Abdurrahman Savas.
What are the main activities and projections for the upcoming period?
Our advisory board members collaborate with academicians and experts by exchanging ideas and opinions before making important decisions and preparing standards. This way, we can make a significant contribution to the improvement of the perception toward the growth of the Islamic finance sector. The board also makes plans for medium- to long-term goals and projects, in addition to resolving some of the current queries and issues.
One of the important objectives of the advisory board in the medium to long term is setting standards for the participation finance and banking industry. Similar to Bahrain-based AAOIFI which has worked for a long time on such standards and gained an international reputation, we aim to create our own standards by taking into account the history and scientific background of our country.
To achieve this goal, the academic development in Turkey is sufficient. However, more coordination, collaborative work and support are needed. I do not see any reason why the standards that we produce cannot be at a level that can serve as a model and example for the whole world. As soon as our work on some standards are completed and the published standards are put into practice, we believe that the participation banking industry in Turkey will most probably enter a new era.
In order to realize our forward-looking goals, the advisory board functions as an academy center for publications and academic workshops. We also have plans for the creation of discussion platforms with comprehensive participation from universities.
What is the international relationship status of the board?
We have some projects underway with institutions such as AAOIFI, IIFM [International Islamic Liquidity Management Corporation], IFSB and the Islamic Fiqh Academy with support from the International Relations Department of the Participation Banks Association of Turkey. Some of the Central Advisory Board members are also members of the IIFM Shariah Board and a similar membership initiative is in progress with AAOIFI. We intend to develop this cooperation with mutual visits and joint studies from time to time.
Fatma Cinar is the head of international relations at the Participation Banks Association of Turkey. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.