Opening of the Merih Celasun Memorial Day Series Held

The first event of the Merih Celasun Memorial Day series that TEPAV has inaugurated to commemorate Prof. Merih Celasun, who made valuable contributions to economics, has been held. The event witnessed broad participation from many circles, predominantly from academia.

ANKARA – TEPAV inaugurated its Merih Celasun Memorial Day events to commemorate Prof. Merih Celasun, who devoted his life to providing solutions to the structural problems of Turkey via scientific thought in economic policy. The first event of the annual series hosted Prof. Celasun’s family and friends, colleagues, students and representatives from academia and other circles.

TEPAV Director Sak: "This will serve as a platform for debates on the economy"

Merih Celasun Memorial Day, held at TEPAV on 22 December 2010, started with an opening speech by TEPAV Director Prof. Güven Sak. In his speech, Sak told anecdotes about Professor Merih Celasun and stated that TEPAV works to close the strategy gap with respect to fighting inflation in the period of the 2001 crisis as Prof. Celasun had often complained about. Sak declared that "Merih Celasun Memorial Day events in future years are expected to serve as a platform which will be dominated by economic debates." Also, he stated that with the Merih Celasun Award, academic research will be supported in this context. The guidelines for the award will be announced in the first quarter of the year.

The First Guest of the Memorial Lecture: Dani Rodrik

Following the opening speech, Merih Celasun Memorial Day continued with the Merih Celasun Memorial Lecture where each year the prominent problems of Turkey’s economy will be discussed by the leading academics of the world. In this first event, TEPAV hosted Dani Rodrik of Harvard University. Rodrik presented a study with the title "Structural Transformation and Economic Development." He also made a short speech commemorating Prof. Celasun. Explaining that they had worked together through the auspices of Kemal Derviş, Rodrik maintained that Prof. Celasun had been not only a cautious researcher but also an economist with expertise on Turkey’s economy. In his presentation, Rodrik focused on the inter-sectoral productivity gaps, the contribution of structural transformation to growth, and features of Turkey’s economy in comparison with those of Latin American and Asian countries.

Friends and Students Talked about Celasun

In the scope of the event, the Youth Chamber Orchestra of Bilkent University gave a short performance preceding the memorial speeches. Dr. Oya Celasun, daughter of Prof. Merih Celasun, delivered the first memorial speech. Following Dr. Celasun, Ali Candar, Deputy Director of TESAV; Prof. Dr. Halim Doğrusöz of METU Department of Industrial Engineering; Prof. Dr. Oktar Türel, Former Faculty Member in METU Department of Economics; Prof. Serdar Sayan of TOBB University of Economics and Technology; and Hasan Ersel of Sabancı University Department of Economics shared their memories and anecdotes with the audience. Merih Celasun Memorial Day ended with a cocktail reception.