Turkey’s Erdoğan Finally Embraces Crypto, Asks His Party to Study the Metaverse

The metaverse craze seems to have lit a bulb of curiosity in the renowned crypto critic, President Erdoğan, who asked his party to study the ‘mysteries’ of the virtual world.
Image source: aa.com.tr

Quick take:

  • President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been one of the biggest critics of cryptocurrencies.
  • On Wednesday, he ordered his party to study more about the metaverse.
  • Erdoğan said the study should include other important issues like cryptocurrency.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan seems to be softening his stance on cryptocurrencies after ordering his party to study more about the metaverse

Erdoğan is a renowned cryptocurrency critic after outlawing crypto payments last April amid a plunging Turkish lira. However, in December, he said that the cryptocurrency law had been formulated and that it was ready for debate in parliament.

And now, amid the metaverse craze, he seems to be finally embracing crypto, asking the ruling party to study the mysteries of the virtual world.

Erdogan asked the Development Party (AK Parti in Turkish) to do research on digital tokens, with an emphasis on the applications of the metaverse. He also said that the research should cover the key issue of cryptocurrencies.

“This is a delicate matter and should be looked at thoroughly,” Erdogan told party officials regarding the metaverse. 

In a party meeting held on Jan. 17, AK Party Information and Communication Technologies President Ömer İleri said that Turkey has accelerated its metaverse efforts because now it is possible to verify digital ownership.

“The Metaverse is open to development in virtual reality, product management and innovative business models,” he said, adding that the party wants to pave the way for the metaverse.

The Turkish leader last Thursday also met with El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele, potentially signalling a major shift to how the European nation views cryptocurrencies. El Salvador is the first country to make bitcoin legal tender and it is planning to launch a $1 billion bitcoin-backed bond.

Although Erdogan has been a huge critic of cryptocurrency, Turkey has maintained a presence in metaverse discussions. 

For instance, one of its biggest cities, Instanbul has witnessed more than 11,000 digital land sales, while the capital Ankara recently became Open AR Cloud’s fourth test city in a metaverse project. 

Earlier this month, Turkey’s Democracy and Progress Party (Turkish: Demokrasi ve Atılım Partisi, DEVA) became the first political party to open metaverse-based headquarters, saying that it was going to hold meetings in the virtual world.

Nonetheless, Turkey’s government won’t be the first to leap into the metaverse, South Korea recently launched a multi-pronged plan for the new industry in a bid to become the fifth-largest metaverse market globally.

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