Merve Samiye KİRAZLI

I was born in Ankara in January 1984, the year Zeki Müren danced at TRT 1's New Year's Eve party, as my mother interpreted. I am one of the lucky generation who spent their childhood playing games on the street. I was a curious and creative child, like any other child, who sews clothes for her barbie doll, draws on paper the cartoon characters she sees on TV with colored pencils, and makes a collection of napkins. At that time, when the 5-year primary school education was completed, the Anatolian High School exam was taken. With that flood created by the education system, I found myself in the Anatolian High School exam and completed my secondary and high school education at Çağrı Bey Anatolian High School. In the last years of high school, no matter how many questions one asks herself/himself, who I am and what I want, at the end, many young people's university preferences are shaped by the scores they get, by the promising professions and the acceptance of the system. I have always dreamed of Middle East Technical University. For this reason, all my choices consisted of one school and the names of 3 different departmant that I believed would be happy.

The first turning point in my life was in 2001 when I won METU's Department of Chemical Engineering. With my student card which I showed to the security guard of the university every morning for 5 years, I have left behind the only world that I have ever known and owned all my life and entered to another world that belonged only to me. 

In my new world, a tea would be drunk in the canteen accompanied by Power FM when I arrived at the department in the morning, the music of the spring festival would be listened to while studying in the library, the class of Jazz history would be selected with the hope of getting high grades and passed with CC, hitchhike would be from the department to the dormitories, friend meeting would be at the Sunshine Cafe and laying would be on the grass in front of Physics. At that time, my intrest in Germany, where the heart of chemistry beats, and the German language increased. I have never even been out of the city alone before, and I attended a language course for a month in Aachen Fahhoch Schule with the DAAD scholarship I received as a result of the exam I took. Although 1 month is a short time, it taught me what it means to be a citizen of the world. The most precious pieces that these years have added to my memory collection were, besides an invaluable education life, 2 wonderful friends of 21 years with whom I played spades (a card game) and a boyfriend (now my husband) with whom I shared a lifelong friendship with great love.

Maybe because of the desire to be free and take the control of my life, and maybe because of the tiredness caused by the fact that I spent 3 hours a day in community buses during all my university years, I have decided to leave my academic life behind and start working life after graduating as a High Hunor Student. After an intense job search, I found myself in beautiful İzmir, where the sea and the sun are the crowning glory, which will make me miss the grayness of Ankara and the snowy winter days. Of course, it wasn't just the sky that I left behind, I entrusted both my family and all my lovely friends to Ankara and came to beautiful Izmir. I can say that this was my second turning point.

As from April 2007 Akzo Nobel Kemipol has become my second family in İzmir. I started my career at Wood Coating R&D Laboratory in 2007 and continued my career by moving to the Kansai Altan Color R&D Laboratory in 2009 (I always believe that the colored striped shirt I wore had an effect on my transition.). Meantime, having found the strenght to move on the academic life as well as my professional life, I completed my master's degree in Chemical Engineering at Ege University in 2009. 

My private life was also as colorful as my business life. In 2012, I got married the most beautiful man in the world at a very entertaining wedding, to which the most cutest people who could dance in consonance with the raspy dance music, were invited. By giving birth to my first son with black olive eyes in 2016 and my second son with almond eyes in 2020, I have guaranteed my Cinderella princess status at home.

During all this time in Color R&D Laboratory, I had great opportinuty to work with a lot of gorgeaous people and come a long way but my greatest luck was that this colorful world which is the blend of what is taught in university and what is not taught, let me to awaken again my mischief, courage and creativity that had been covered up with the childhood. This world, which touches not only chemistry or engineering, but also many branches of science, has shown me the white that everyone sees, in bluer and redder. I now say, “I am a colorist” to those who ask about my profession, and I see the "Color Office" brand, which we established with great effort and devotion with my teammates, as the greatest success of my career and a complete reflection of it. 

It was an priceless adventure for me to see that the crazy ideas that I brought with me besides the green teas I carried in my suitcase on the way back from Kansai Japan in 2018, from the colorful post-its we decorated the meeting room walls while eating macarons and drinking tea, to Color Shows presented at global conferences and the catalogs traveling in the hands of world-famous automotive designers.

Endless thanks to both my teammates and the Kansai Altan family for this small republic where we push the limits of our creativity and declare our freedom.