Rotary Foundation Trustee Örsçelik Balkan, a member of the Rotary Club of Istanbul-Karaköy, Turkey, died unexpectedly on 6 March.
Balkan, a Rotary member since 1973, was the executive senior board director of the EAE Elektrik Company, a manufacturer of electrical products in Turkey and Russia. He was a developer in the field of renewable energy. He also taught strategic planning, effective communication, and project planning for an MBA program at Istanbul Kültür University.
“Örsçelik was a Rotarian’s Rotarian,” says Rotary Foundation Chair Ron D. Burton. “He knew and loved Rotary and exemplified Rotary principles in everything he did. He always put others before himself. His Rotary work worldwide is a true testament to his commitment.”
He served Rotary as a district trainer, district governor, and RI director. He also served on numerous committees, including as chair of several.
In 1999, he led disaster relief services in Turkey after a devastating earthquake. He also helped bring Rotary services to Bosnia-Herzegovina and initiated a heart surgery project for Iraqi children. He convened Rotary Presidential Peace Forums in Sofia, Bulgaria; Istanbul, Turkey; and Nairobi, Kenya.
Balkan was recognized with the Service Above Self Award and the Rotary Foundation Citation for Meritorious Service. He and his spouse, Yasar Afet, were Major Donors and Benefactors of The Rotary Foundation.
He is survived by his spouse, Yasar Afet, sons Aydin and Gökçe, and grandchildren Aylin and Ozan. Memorial services will be held in Istanbul and Aydin, Turkey, on 8-9 March.