Prof. Dr. Yılmaz BÜYÜKERŞEN

Eskişehir Metropolitan Municipality Mayor

Yılmaz Büyükerşen was born in Eskişehir in 1936. He was among the first graduates of the Eskişehir Academy of Economics and Commercial Sciences. During his studentship, he worked as a correspondent, writer, cartoonist and editor for various newspapers. He and his student fellows obtained an initial capital by selling their blood to the blood bank and used it for the establishment of the Chamber Theater and later for the Municipal Theater. Following his graduation, he became assistant in the Department of Public Finance the same year.

He obtained his PhD and associate professorship in 1966 and 1968 respectively. He was appointed as Vice President of the Academy in the same year and he was promoted to professorship in 1973. He was elected as the President of Eskişehir Academy of Economic and Administrative Sciences in 1976. At the end of his presidency term, he was re-elected.

With his studies on the utilization of radio and television both in educational and cultural life, he established firstly Tv transmitting station and black-and-white training studios and then Turkey’s first colour TV system in Eskişehir in order to ensure that Eskişehir could watch the Ankara TRT broadcasts after Istanbul.

In 1971 he started the studies on the utilization of the communication technology in education and on the inclusion of distance learning and its methods in Turkish education system as an open education model. “The Open Education Model for Turkey” project, which he developed for spreading education in 1973 was put into practice all over the country together with 6 western European countries and Northern Cyprus as an Open Education Faculty by the Higher Education Board Law and Decree Law No. 41 in 1982.

In 1982, following the re-organization of the universities by Higher Education Law, he was appointed as the Chancellor of Anadolu University by the President of the Turkish Republic. At the end of his term in 1987, he was re-appointed as the Chancellor. In addition, he served as member of “Radio and Television High Council” (RTÜK) and then as its’ president for two terms. In 1993, he resigned from his duty with the addition of the RTÜK Law.

He was re-appointed for the third time by the President as a result of obtaining the majority of the votes in the rectorial election in 1992. Following the provision stating “Rectorship more than two terms cannot be executed” which was added to the Higher Education Commission Law, his rectorship duty was terminated.

During his Academy presidency and rectorship periods, he established various education, research and publication institutes, expanded the Anadolu University from which structure three new universities were founded later on and wrote lots of books and articles. He also served as the Head of Department of Distance Education of Anadolu University and Director of Institute of Communication Sciences. He also served as Chairman of “Education Volunteers Foundation of Turkey”, of which he took a place among its founders. He established “Education Parks” and “District Education Units” described as “Modern Community Center and Village Institute Model” all over Turkey.

He was elected as Mayor of Eskişehir Metropolitan Municipality by obtaining 44% of the votes (from the political party of DSP) in April 1999 election. Büyükerşen also served as the Head of Turkish Delegation of the European Council Local Authorities for five years up to 2004.