“I am 23, I am studying bio engeneering in Ege university. Thanks to my best friend Bahar and my parents that taught me a lot about environment and nature I became very motivated since I was a child. My family encouraged me to do something related to this and I am very glad for that. Also I have some friends in this field with knowledge about it. I was chosen to be a president of this club because my friends and members of the club showed in me a high responsibility sense and environmental awareness.”
Cynthia: Can you tell me what this club is about?
Öznur: This is about environment, we want to show people that there are a lot of problems about it and we need to solve them. Taking the example of Gezi Park in Istanbul, i could say that not many people knew about the trees matter and we wanted to create awareness on people mostly.
C: Which projects and activities do you do?
Ö: We organize symposiums at university once a year. A lot of students and professors come from different universities and cities. There are a lot of places in our university to host conference etc. We made a documentary to demonstrate problems of Istanbul about building a new bridge which affects directly to the environment. First we prepared brochures and made an open call to participate. We had a lot of participants around 50 students that came to see the documentary displayed in the Ege Üniversitesi Kültür Sanat Evi. Appart from this, We have meetings every Thursday in Gençlik Merkezi because we have a lot of things to talk.
In the last years our club went to Kus cenneti to clean the beach.
C: Do you think that Izmir has a lack of environmental awareness? How can you solve and help this problem?
Ö: Yes, too much. Actually we want to go school and inform the children about environmental problems and teach and create conscious since the very beginning of their age. We are thinking about playing games about it with them and make a presentation about environmental problems. If children take this conscious, in the future they can do a lot of good things. Since I have the experience of being educated with a responsibility conscious, I became more sensitive and confident with these problems. Therefore i would love to show this model to children too.
C: How is Turkish development in environment?
Ö: Government thinks that containers are very easy that people put bombs on them. For this reason they want to protect and control them. They don’t take in mind any ecological problem and somehow they control people’s mind so that they cannot have the freedom to decide and resolve ecological issues.
C: Do you take examples of other associations and make partnership?
Ö: We have a lot of friends in Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara. There is a platform about environmental issues which is called “Students that approach to environmental problems”. There are a lot of clubs and universities there.
C: How is the philosophy of your club?
Ö : We think that money here is not important. We don’t ask any fee from our member. We don’t like to work with social capitalists groups or sponsors. We want to move independently.
C: Who can join your club?
Ö: Everyone can join. There is just one policy about universities club and therefore all students can join degree, master or PHDs. In our meetings there are people from our universities but officially just EGE can join. Aside this we meet with people with other interests that make our club stronger in linking friendships.
C: Do you see an optimistic perspective of Izmir in terms of environment in the future?
Ö : Gezi Park was a really good model for Turkish people. When there is danger, people can feel stronger and more confident taking the example of the actions that people did in Gezi Park because of the huge created. There a lot of actions in environmental issues. Another lead was in Mersin for Nuclear protests about the Government’s behavior with this issue. If they did it, we can do it too. A lot of heatings (sobas) in the same building are very harm to combine and a lot of people can die with that.
They want to settle thermal plants in Aliaga and people protest against the Government for that.
What matters most is the problem of Izmir with its gulf. The Egean Is very dirty and smells very bad. We need to take action and clean it.