The Department of Economics was founded in 1987 under the initiative of Prof. Dr. SĂĽbidey Togan, who served as the Department Chair and Dean of the Faculty for over a decade. The department was chaired by Prof. Dr. ErinĂ§ Yeldan from 1998 to 2003, by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Fatma TaĹźkÄ±n from 2003 to 2011 and by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Selin Sayek BĂ¶ke from 2011 to 2014. The current Department Chair is Prof. Dr. Refet GĂĽrkaynak.
In 1989, the Department of Economics established its graduate studies by starting the Master of Arts in Economics program, which was further extended to include a full-fledged Ph.D. program. In 2006 with the joint initiative between the Department of Economics Bilkent University and Tilburg University a Dual Masterâ€™s degree program was initiated. The Dual M.A. program allows students to specialize in five alternative areas by studying a year at Bilkent and a year at Tilburg Universities, and writing a thesis in each university to be conferred two Masterâ€™s degrees.
The Department currently has 23 distinguished full time faculty members who are active researchers and teachers contributing to both the academic as well as policy arena in economics.