Eurada News nº396 - January 2020

Thank you Mr. Mevlut Özen!

EURADA’s Vice-President Mevlut Özen goes into retirement at the end of February 2020. Mr. Özen founded OKA at the end of 2008 and is the longest serving General Secretary of Turkish Regional Development Agencies.

Mevlut Özen, General Secretary of the Development Agency Orta Karadeniz Kalkınma Ajansı (OKA) has announced his retirement. He is as well the elected Vice-President of EURADA since 2016.

Mr. Özen made significant contributions to regional development agencies. He was the first General Secretary of the Middle Black Sea Regional Development Agency, being in that position since July 2009. It was an important moment in the decentralisation of development policies in Turkey. The national government created 26 development agencies covering the territory of Turkey using the framework created by law 5949/2006. Mr. Mevlut Özen was the longest person in the position of secretary general in all that time.

Mr. Özen was a meaningful member of EURADA, a member who provided an original perspective about regional development. His contributions to the debates were significant and gave a comprehensive vision of the profession. He was an enabler of the internationalisation of the Turkish Development Agencies: he used his privileged position as vice President (and member of the Board of Directors) to facilitate the participation of Turkish development agencies in EURADA and EU-related initiatives. In this moment, there are 10 members of EURADA from Turkey, being the second country with the highest number of representative organisations.

Mr. Özen started his professional career as agricultural engineer, worked in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs in 1983, and between 2003-2009 he held important positions as coordinator in the agricultural policy department. He deserves the highest consideration from his former colleagues in the regional economic development field. We the European Association of Development Agencies express our gratitude for his continuous support.

After Mr. Mevlut Özen retirement, İ. Ethem Şahin was appointed as deputy secretary genera. He has an extraordinarily good knowledge of European development agencies and is already involved in several projects along with EURADA.

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Written by Esteban Pelayo, Director of EURADA.