Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has appointed a former US banker to head Turkey’s central bank. Hafize Gaye Erkan replaces Sahap Kavcioglu, the Turkish Government Gazette published on Friday. A Princeton graduate, Erkan is the first woman to hold the post during difficult times.

Inflation in Turkey is almost 40 percent, the Turkish national currency lira had slipped to record lows compared to the euro and lira in the past few days. Experts see both as being based, among other things, on the low interest rate policy preferred by Erdogan. In the past, he had repeatedly put pressure on the central bank to keep interest rates low despite the very high inflation and had replaced bosses several times.

The appointment of the economist Mehmet Simsek to the finance ministry, who, unlike Erdogan, is regarded as a representative of conventional economic theories, also indicated a departure from this course. However, some observers doubt that the President will actually let Erkan and Simsek do as they please.