Turkey Religious Ministry: Bitcoin “Not Appropriate to Buy or Sell” for Islamic Believers
Diyanet İşleri Başkanlığı (Ministry Presidency of Religious Affairs) of the Republic of Turkey has issued the guide “Bitcoin and Ethereum, such as Virtual Money for Investment: Is [it] Possible to Buy?” In it, the religious authority warned “it is not appropriate to buy or sell virtual moneys” for Islamic believers, reports a translation by En Son Haber. The Diyanet further explained believers are to avoid currencies not backed by the state or central authority.
Islamic Religious Body of Turkey Forbids Crypto
Known as the Diyanet, Turkey’s religious authority weighed in on cryptocurrency use when it comes to being faithful to both Islam and the state. The Diyanet has jurisdiction “related to the beliefs, worship and morals of Islamic Religion, to enlighten the society about religion and to manage places of worship,” according to its website.
Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin are “encrypted currency for each user, allowing direct commercial exchange between users without any central financial institution behind them,” the Diyanet began its rationale.
“In order for a currency to have a monetary value,” the Turkish Islamic authority continued, “it must either take its value in the state authority or have a unique value like gold. Virtual money, although used by some sectors as a means of exchange, can not be regarded as money because it does not have the prestige and credibility that the state provides, and because there is no central financial institution behind it and it is not under government guarantee.”
Turkish Street Still Bullish on Bitcoin
This is in contrast with the president of Turkey’s Central Bank, Murat Cetinkaya, who said that such digital currencies could “contribute to financial stability,” as noted in these very pages.
Recently, police in Turkey flouted their arrest of a gang extorting bitcoin from known wealthy businesspeople. Apparently a Turkish man drew the gang’s attention by plastering his bitcoin wealth online. Reports of over 3 million USD in bitcoin were stolen.
The Diyanet statement concludes: “Moreover, it is not appropriate to buy or sell virtual moneys in the following stages, such as being open to speculation about losing or losing, being easily used for unauthorized work and transactions such as money laundering purposes, and being away from state supervision and oversight.”
Evidently, Turkey remains bullish on the world’s most popular cryptocurrency. As Russia Today notes, “A Turkish Lira-Bitcoin exchange, BTC Turk, has been set up, and there is a Bitcoin ATM near the Ataturk Airport in Istanbul. In September, the Miavita Beytepe apartment complex in Ankara said it would be accepting Bitcoin for luxury homes.”
C. Edward Kelso