This year Ashoka Turkey elected 92 year old Hayrettin Karaca as a senior fellow for his work leading the Turkish environmental movement. Here is a glimpse at some of the wisdom Hayrettin shares in the video:
About trees and the environment: 'I gave away 220,000 trees all over Turkey...to villages, organizations, universities...because they will all live. They should have a chance and a means to live on.'
About the global economy and the environment: 'Today there is a monster called the global economy. It needs to grow, if it doesn't grow, there is a crisis. Poor thing! So till where will this grow? Until it destroys the nature that gives it life. One should not consume more than they need. You might have the money but you don't have the right.'
About society living together: "If one's neighbour is hungry, one's food is not helal."
Hayrettin Karaca is considered the "grandfather" of the Turkish environmental movement. A successful businessman-cum-conservationist, he has become a leading educator and activist for environmental protection in Turkey. Nicknamed "grandfather erosion" in Turkey, Hayrettin is a successful businessman turned environmental social entrepreneur. He has dedicated his life to tireless advocacy and support for the protection of soil and natural habitats, combining successful entrepreneurship with effective environmental activism. His organization TEMA has become a vast network, reaching every corner of the country achieving significant national impact, both on the environment and social fabric of the country.
Through his work, Hayrettin Karaca has mobilized more than half a million citizens to become active members, volunteers and donors for the first time in their lives. In recent years, TEMA has expanded its programs to Germany, Belgium and Netherlands, where large communities of Turkish migrants are present.