Islam economy institute to hold int'l studies

Islam economy institute to hold int'l studies

ISTANBUL-Anadolu Agency
Islam economy institute to hold intl studies

Turkey's first institute on Islamic economy and finance aims to conduct international academic studies from Turkey's economic hub of Istanbul.

The Marmara University Institute of Islamic Economics And Finance (MUISEF) will expand its studies with further academic research on issues including sector-wise product diversification and participation banking, Erol Özvar, president of the Istanbul-based university, told Anadolu Agency.

In an interview, Özvar said the interest in Islamic economics and finance studies has become increasingly popular over the last 20 years, not only in Turkey but also in a broad range of countries from Japan to the U.S.

There are a number of centers in various universities on Islamic economics and finance, but MUISEF of Marmara University is the first of its kind in Turkey in terms of being an academic institute, Özvar stressed.

Özvar added that the institute was established under a joint protocol with the Finance Office of the Turkish Presidency.

"We will provide training on Islamic economy and finance for graduate and doctoral students coming from different disciplines," he said, stressing that the institute was conceived as a scientific establishment open to the world.

"We think that being open to international interaction, in terms of producing and disseminating academic knowledge, is crucial. The instruction language will be in English. We also want to train our students in Arabic and other languages," he said.

Great potential in Istanbul for Islamic finance

Göksel Aşan, Finance Office Chief in Turkish Presidency, underlined that no project could be accomplished without proper scientific background and qualified human capital. He added that MUISEF was founded with this motive.

Aşan added that the institute would espouse a more holistic view in the field of Islamic finance as well as a substructure to serve the purpose of making Istanbul a "finance center".

Emphasizing that the fields of financial technologies and Islamic finance were critical for The Istanbul Finance Center (IFC), he noted that it would differentiate itself from other examples in the world.

Istanbul has a great potential in terms of Islamic finance, Aşan said, adding: "Istanbul, unfortunately, has remained far below its potential. Islamic finance is one of the two things that will be central to the IFC. This is why this institute is very important for us as it will support this aim."

Noting that the share of participation banks was also insufficient, he stressed that the most important method to increase the share of participation banks was to ensure financial diversity.

"In other words, it is to create new structure in which they [participation banks] turn to different financial instruments," he said.

"The Institute will provide the scientific infrastructure for this. With reports and a number of projects, the institute will support both the participation banks and us. This is a start, a fuse… Now, we’ve fired the fuse. I believe this will grow very quickly and become widespread," Aşan added.