Asaf Savaş Akat: An Esteemed Economist and Academic
Zatrun Published at April 25, 2024

In this comprehensive analysis, explores the life and accomplishments of Asaf Savaş Akat (born on February 3, 1943, in Ankara), a distinguished Turkish economist and academic. Throughout this article, we aim to provide detailed insights into his remarkable journey and significant contributions to his field.

Early Life and Education

After completing his primary education in Istanbul, Asaf Savaş Akat pursued a year of education in the United States. He then returned to Istanbul and graduated from Galatasaray High School. Akat continued his academic journey by enrolling in the Faculty of Economics at Istanbul University. Later, in 1968, he completed his university education at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England. Akat further advanced his knowledge by obtaining his doctorate from Istanbul University.

In 1966, he began his career as an assistant at the same university, eventually becoming an associate professor in 1973. In 1970, he conducted research as a visiting scholar at the London School of Economics. In 1974, Asaf Savaş Akat joined the faculty of the National Security Academy as an instructor, and in 1980, he became a professor at Istanbul University.

Career and Political Engagement

Asaf Savaş Akat’s career and interests extended beyond academia. Following the September 12 coup in 1980, he was dismissed from his position and joined the 1402 list, a list of academics affected by the coup. He wrote for the weekly magazine Yeni Gündem for a period of time and also worked at İletişim Yayınları. While his name was initially associated with the Democratic Left Party, he later joined the Social Democratic Populist Party. In 1993, he underwent a change in his political views and became one of the founding members of the New Democracy Movement, led by Cem Boyner. Akat also assumed various roles, including consultancy and board membership, in private companies and holdings.

As a member of the Royal Economic Society and TÜSİAD, Asaf Savaş Akat held teaching positions at Istanbul Bilgi University, including the rectorship, and the Department of Economics from 1996 to 1998. He also participated in the economics program “Ekodiyalog” on NTV television and wrote columns for Sabah and later Vatan newspapers. Asaf Savaş Akat’s profound knowledge of economics and his insightful analyses earned him recognition in the academic and media spheres.

Personal Life and Awards

Asaf Savaş Akat’s personal life has been intertwined with his professional endeavors. He was initially married to journalist and writer Emine Uşaklıgil, and after their divorce, he married Nilüfer Göle. Asaf Savaş Akat is currently listed as a speaker with CSA Celebrity Speakers bureau.

A fluent English speaker, Akat is also a founding member of the Turkish Simultaneous Translators Association and a member of various social institutions and organizations. In 1984, he received the Sedat Simavi Foundation Award for his book “Alternative Growth Strategy.”

Throughout his career, Asaf Savaş Akat has authored several influential books that have contributed to the field of economics. Some notable publications include “İktisat İlmi ve İktisat Siyaseti: Genel İlkeler” and “İktisat İlmi ve İktisat Siyaseti: Mikro Teori” (published by the National Security Academy in 1975), “İktisadi Analiz” (published by Istanbul University Faculty of Economics in 1980), “Alternatif Büyüme Stratejisi – İktisat Politikası Yazıları” (published by İletişim Yayınları in 1983), and “Sosyal Demokrasi Gündemi” (published by Armoni Yayınları in 1991).

Asaf Savaş Akat’s life is a testament to his remarkable achievements as an economist, academic, and influential figure in Turkish society. His contributions to the field of economics, both as a scholar and a public intellectual, have left an enduring impact. As we reflect on his journey, we recognize his dedication to knowledge, his engagement in social and political issues, and his role as an educator. Asaf Savaş Akat’s legacy will continue to inspire future generations of economists, academics, and individuals seeking a deeper understanding of the economic landscape.

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