This Month's Featured Alumni Süreyya Serdengeçti
He was born 1952 in Istanbul, Turkey. After completing high school in Istanbul, he studied economics at the Middle East Technical University in Ankara and earned 1979 his BA degree. From 1984 to 1986, he attended The Graduate Program in Economic Development at (GPED) at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, U.S. and received a master’s degree in economics.
After returning from the USA, he served from 1992 as manager for the foreign exchange administration and from 1992 for open market operations. In 1994, he was appointed press spokesman and assistant general manager for foreign affairs being responsible for balance of payments and international institutions. Serdengeçti was appointed to the post of general manager for money markets covering the fields international reserve management, foreign exchange and interventions, interbank market, open-market operations and treasury contracting. Additionally his existing post, he was promoted to vice governorship for credits, informatics and statistics in 1998.
Serdengeçti was appointed 20th Governor of the Central Bank by the coalition government on March 14, 2001, succeeding Gazi Erçel, who resigned. Turkish government announced an economic program on April 14, 2001 prepared by Kemal Derviş, then Minister of State responsible for Economy and, the parliament passed a law on April 25, 2001, that gave autonomy to the Central Bank of Turkey.
These important steps taken, a privilege compared with the past time, enabled Serdengeçti to better control the Turkish economy in crises with a high inflation. During his five-years of governorship, the US dollar exchange rate fell from 1.60 to 1.30 Turkish Lira, the annual inflation rate from 37.51% to 8.15% and the overnight interest rate from 120% to 13.5%. With the new fiscal policy, floating exchange rate was accepted and inflation targeting was commissioned. On January 1, 2005, the Turkish currency Lira was converted into New Turkish Lira by deleting 6 zeros.