I graduated from Middle East Technical University, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Department of Economics in 1986, and in pursuit of an academic career, I started the Master’s degree program. My career path took a sudden turn when my attention was caught by the white and blue colored İşbank ad, hanging on the faculty wall, inviting young graduates to join the Board of Inspectors of the Bank. So I decided to “postpone my academic aspirations for a while” and started my journey in İşbank which basically changed my life. After holding various positions at İşbank, I was appointed as the 16th Chief Executive Officer of İşbank in 2011. I also serve as the Chairman of Şişecam Group. I have never worked in any company other than İşbank in my entire career.
During my high school period in İslahiye district of Gaziantep, I had a limited education in English. So despite the prep year in METU, I had a hard time being acquainted not only to English, but also to economic terms during my first days at the Economics Department. I remember spending days over a single chapter from Lipsey & Steiner’s “Introduction to Economics”, not really knowing whether I was studying English or Economics, just to see the professor dedicating only 15 minutes on it in class.
So although I thought about quitting many times, I kept on studying and managed to be successful. METU helped me believe that with enough perseverance and dedication, “I can do it”. This self-confident “Hang in there, don’t quit now” approach helped me overcome the challenges I faced throughout my professional career.
Needless to say all this was made possible with the support of the interaction between the distinguished academic staff and the students of METU Economics. I believe that me and the fellows in METU are equipped not only with a strong educational background, but also with distinctive qualities such as inspiration, commitment, joyful learning that are deeply rooted in this institution’s culture, helping us develop a curious and inquiring mind. Looking back on those good old days, I consider it fortunate and feel delighted to be a METU Economics graduate.