Former UNDP chief and Turkish minister dies at 74

ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkish economist, politician and former head of the United Nations Development Program Kemal Dervis died Monday at the age of 74, Turkish news outlets reported.

He was being treated for an unspecified illness in Washington D.C., state-run Anadolu Agency reported, as did BBC Turkish and t24, which first reported the news.

Following more than two decades at the World Bank, Dervis became a household name in Turkey in 2001 when he was invited by then-Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit to serve as minister of economic affairs amid the country’s worst economic crisis in modern history.

Dervis was largely responsible for the successful three-year economic recovery plan launched that year, which included major structural changes and bank reforms.

He resigned his ministerial position in August 2002, and was elected as an MP for the main opposition Republican People’s Party, known as CHP, in the general elections which took place later that year.

In 2005 the United Nations General Assembly unanimously confirmed Kemal Dervis as the administrator of the United Nations Development Program. The post is the third highest in the U.N. following the Secretary-General and Deputy Secretary-General. He did not seek a second term in 2009 when his four-year term expired.

Born January 10, 1949, Dervis received his bachelors and masters degrees from the London School of Economics in 1968 and 1970 respectively, and his PhD from Princeton University in 1973. He authored and co-authored a number of books on economics, including “Inequality in America: Facts, Trends and International Perspectives”, in 2012, and “Recovery from the Crisis and Contemporary Social Democracy”, in 2006.

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