Muslim Wire

Turkey mourns death of top Islamic banker

Posted in Business, Society by muslimwire on October 26, 2009

Mushtak Parker

Adnan Buyukdeniz, the general manager of Albaraka Turk Participation Bank, one of the pioneering Islamic banks in Turkey, passed away on Oct. 16 after a long illness. Only 51 years old, Turkey has lost one of its most experienced Islamic bankers. Adnan devoted almost all of his professional life, spanning more than two decades, to the development of Islamic finance in Turkey.

After Recep Tayyip Erdpgan became Prime Minister of Turkey over five years ago, Adnan was widely tipped to become the governor of the Central Bank of Turkey. His close relationship to the ruling AK (Justice) Party of Premier Erdogan and the fact he was an Islamic banker may have cost him because the fundamentalist secular media in Turkey would have accused the government of allowing ‘Islamization’ to creep into the state apparatus as they had done so frequently on other issues in the past.

Adnan Buyukdeniz, who was affectionately known as Adnanbey, was born in Adana in south central Turkey on Jan. 2, 1958. He completed his high school education in Texas, before graduating with a Business Administration & Economics degree from the Bosphorus University in Istanbul in 1980. He then completed his Masters in Economics at the London School of Economics before finishing his Ph.D. at the Social Sciences Institute of Istanbul University. His professional career started in 1982 as a Research Economist in the Association of Turkish Industrialist & Businessmen (TUSIAD). In 1986, he joined Albaraka Turk Finance House (as it was then known as) in Istanbul as assistant manager of research and marketing, working his way up to general manager in 2003.

Adnan Byukdeniz was also a keen amateur photographer and a member of the Turkish Amateur Photography Association. He is survived by his wife and three children.

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