Interview with Yakup Canik at Ekosol
by Elif Sarper and Edlin Gülzari
1. How do you explain your job to your child?
I have a 10 year old daughter and a garden. My daughter grows in sync with animals. We work together in the garden. As she had met every worm that had come up in the garden before, she did not have a hard time with the subject. She understands the process of my job quite well as she uses the leftover tomatoes etc. at home too for compost, she even explains the process to her friends now. I had told her the story of how worms aeriate the soil as a a fairy tale for example. Even when she was hoeing the soil with a toy, she learnt not to harm animals, not to kill the worms.
2. How many Ekosols should there be in Istanbul to make it work?
As a matter of fact, it should not be only in Istanbul but in the whole of Turkey to be able to save this land. If not, the future of this land does not seem bright. In a city as big as Istanbul, one should have at least 10, but we are the only one. There is only 2 or 3 in the whole of Turkey.
3. Do you think ecology should be politisized? For example like Greenpeace or the Green Party in Germany.
Everything in life is politisized because life is political. This may not mean a lot to you at this stage of your life but you will see in the future that every breath you take, every step you make have political reasons. Respect to human beings, respect to animals, respect to life, respect to greenery, all of these have political reasons. We are humans who have invaded this world. Every tree we cut down causes hundreds of birds to die. Every building we build interferes with the living space of dogs and cats. The worms are the last animals we will encounter. We will meet the soil eventually. If we meet at first with the thing we will meet at the end, we will go more peacefully into its arms.
4. The industry of red worms and compost has been thought of in California. How come it was not thought of in Anatolia or by our municipalities?
The American municipality takes a higher tax from the houses who do not ecologically separate their garbage. That’s why almost all of the houses there separate their garbage. The municipality, in return, ferments these home-wastes and get valuable compost from garbage. What’s more they save on human resources by having the worms do the job. The worms eat the fermented garbage, and produces precious compost from its excrement. There is no such interest in our municipalities. They have different interests, priorities. We sincerely wanted to work with municipalities, we brought them many projects; but their top priority is making more money, getting more votes . As their major problem is not ecology, it did not get much attention. I hope your generation will have higher awareness to this issue.