First Speaker of the Semester: Hakan Habip

Today, Hakan Habip visited our club. He talked about his journey and the journey of Bilim Kahramanları Association. After living in America for 12 years and in France for 6 years, Habip observed people that didn’t even know where Turkey was on the map. This led him to think that Turkey shouldn’t wait for help from others, the change needs to come from within. In 2000, he published a report of eight pages, which explained how informatics would be taught to the young generations of Turkey. His report referred to three main messages: Mevlana’s philosophy of “Come, come whoever you are”, Nasreddin Hodja’s “What if it happens?”, and Turkish as a language having less words to use in daily speaking, but meaning lots of things with just one word.

But circumstances led him to move on from that project. It was three years later that his wife started a project, and he found himself organising First Lego League (FLL) in Turkey. According to him, this project not only gives a chance to students to access education, not in terms of the education that one would learn in class but the type of education one would need the most in life; but also unites children from different cities in Turkey. He says he had come to realize that there is no prejudice among children, thus we are born without our egos. But later it is being taught to us. That is why he believed that the only way to unite people and create a loyal community that cares for another will be through education.

   At the end of the day, as we made our closing circle and shared our feelings, we all felt encouraged and inspired by Habip’s speech. Sometimes we get to feel that it is only the people who are on the television, who have lots of power that do something to change the world, but it only takes passion to do so.