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Internationally respected Turkish economist dies at 74

Kemal Dervis

Late Turkish economist Kemal Derviş

Kemal Derviş, a well-respected former Turkish economy minister who held major positions at the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the UN, has died at the age of 74 in the US, according to journalist Cansu Çamlıbel from the T24 news website.

After a yearslong battle Derviş died on Monday at a hospital in Washington where he was being treated for Parkinson’s disease.

He had worked at the World Bank and the IMF for 22 years before joining the Turkish cabinet to handle economic developments after a major crisis in 2001 at the invitation of then-prime minister Bülent Ecevit.

Derviş was known for devising the prescription for Turkey’s recovery from the 2001 crisis with the policies he pioneered.

He made major economic reforms that not only saved the economy but also paved the way for Turkish economic growth in the 2000s and early 2010s under then-prime minister and current president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s government, which implemented Derviş’s strict economic policies.

In 2002, Derviş was elected as a member of parliament for İstanbul from the Republican People’s Party (CHP), but he resigned in 2005 and was appointed head of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). He handed over this role to former New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark in 2009.

He published a book titled “A Better Globalisation” in collaboration with the Center for Global Development in March 2005.

Derviş also authored and published “Recovery from the Crisis and Contemporary Social Democracy” in 2006.

Born in 1949 in İstanbul, Derviş earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees at the London School of Economics in the UK and his Ph.D. at Princeton University in the US.

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