OUR TEAM

AKIN ERDOGAN

Akin Erdogan, is an founding chairman and currently he is an executive board member of Zeytince Association. He has an experience in field of ecology over seven years’ and with five years of experience in project management. He received his BA in Economics at Ege University and his MSc. in Regional Development Economics with a thesis on Social and Solidarity Economy. In Zeytince Association where he mainly focuses on ecological literacy trainings and conducts theoretical and practical research on sustainable development and environmental administration. He is the co-founder of Olive Academy. He is a PHD candidate in History of Economics. He is co-director of Project Tramp Kitchen. He is managing several projects on local, regional and national within sustainable development.

BELFU NIHAL SOLMAZ

I graduated from Ege University, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Department of Economics. Since 2016, I am a member of Zeytince E.Y.D.D..

I learned the most beautiful and most meaningful way of olive oil watering the roots of my roots in Zeytince. I am happy to be in a place that carries the same concerns and even produces solutions in the way I go with ecological concerns. I have the excitement and energy of being in Zeytince, which opens beautiful gates and brings together the doors that it opens with ecology, philosophy, science and mind.

Hope to be a partner to the story of an olive tree that has touched centuries and to live this hope with the whole world.

CANSU PELIN ISBILEN

Cansu Pelin is an architect with an MSCi in Industrial Design (Istanbul Technical University) where she researched urban furniture design focusing on picnic areas of Izmir Bayrakli neighbourhood as her master thesis. She works for Izmir Metropolitan Municipality in Izmir History Project which is about the historical city centre of Izmir with its surrounding. Within her work area she collaborates with inter disciplinary experts to unearth the potential of the historical area of the city, facilitate projects to support citizen engagement amongst people with different backgrounds, collect data and design public spaces with the needs of users. She has extensive professional and volunteer experience with culture and art projects related to citizen engagement, social inclusion and environment & ecology on a local, national and international level as a leader and facilitator. She has skills on idea generation, problem solving, communication, facilitation and networking. She is the co-director of Tramp Kitchen and she is a member of Zeytince Association.

PROF. DR. R. FUNDA BARBAROS

I’ve been trying to understand and re-read the universe, planet and human species we have been in for many years. Respect for life, freedom, and according to the laws of nature to establish a life in harmony. I am one of the people who put forward the idea of establishing Zeytince Ecological Life Support Association. I support this idea to be built as broadly as possible. I learn and teach on ecological economics, co-culture and olive. I say ”Art-Literature-Ecological Economics“ to make another world possible.

LEYLA OGUT

(Mozambique, 1985)

Leyla OGUT, one of the founding members of Zeytince Association, has worked as a high level manager, at the visual merchandizing and fashion design departments of outstanding fashion and textile companies in Turkey since 2011. Inditex Group Bershka; Jimmy Key and United Colors of Benetton / Turkey and Middle East are among these companies. She worked as a lecturer at Faruk Sarac Design and Fashion High School / Istanbul and has taught Art History and Sustainable Fashion Design courses during 2016-2018. She participated international conference and has proceedings on social identify; urban transformation strategies; creative industries in Turkey. She worked as an international volunteer at various local projects in Argentina and in Peru in 2019 for 6 months. Currently she is a product development and operation manager at an Inform. & technology (IT) Company in Izmir. She has excellent computer program skills in Adobe photo-shop, Adobe illustrator and Microsoft Office.

DOC. DR. MENEVIS UZBAY PIRILI

I would like to explain the meaning and importance of the Zeytince Association and our olive school for me, and above all the hope and goodness that it brings to my life through the concept of ve love of the world ın – amor mundi.
We know the concept of love of the world from the writings of the famous political and social scientist Hannah Arent. The world, on the one hand, indicates the planet we live in and all the possibilities it offers to us, the ecological system. However, at the same time, the Earth, within the physical possibilities of the earth, involves all the practices, institutions and cultures that people create in a wide variety of relationships within the network and which give meaning to their lives. Love of the world, so amor mundi; and the sense of responsibility and responsibility for adapting the world to the future generations as a place to live the world.
The Amor mundi is not only an abstract concept, but it also includes the possibilities of practicing it in practice. In other words, it emphasizes the importance of public space which allows us to think together, remember, discuss our common problems and find common solutions in common. The Zeytince Association, in my life, is one of the important ways in the realization of amor mundin.
To be able to propose a way of life that is compatible with what nature offers, and to put it into practice by thinking together, is a difficult process that involves contradictions. In this process, traditional life with modern life on the one hand; contemporary culture / knowledge with ancient culture / knowledge; There is a need to find creative solutions that make the existing contradictions between naturalness and modern technology sustainable. On the other hand, to be able to communicate with each other in the real sense and to act in solidarity; it requires us to learn and develop a culture and ethics of communication based on consensus and plurality, not on absolutism and uniqueness, in an environment where each one of us is confronted with differences and disinterestedness, sometimes contradictions are inevitable. Plurality is the principle of our planet and nature. For me, the Zeytince association is a very precious journey that I have experienced and learned both within us and outside and the plurality in nature and mentally in practice.

Menevis UZBAY PIRILI, is an academician and one of the founder members of Zeytince Association. She has  been working  as an Assoc.  Prof. at Ege University Department of Economics since 2000.  Dr. Uzbay Pirili taught Ecological Economics, Sustainable Development, and Economic Growth   at undergraduate and graduate level.   She has various publications and research studies on development economics, sustainable development and ecological economics. She worked as the local coordinator for international projects such as Mordogan Vocational Centre project (Hellenic aid, in collaboration with  Greek partners); HERMES – Harnessing Employment, Regional Mobility and Entrepreneurship in South-Eastern Europe (DG Enlargement of the European Commission  Project); coordinator of national projects on Ecological Literacy Education in İzmir. She also worked for United Nations Development Programme- UNDP   for two years in Mozambique, as a coordinator assistant in a UNDP project.  She has pioneered the ecological literacy education programs addressing adults and young people in Izmir and she still continues her   education and research  activities  at Zeytince Association . She is also working as a part time professor   at Yasar University, Department of Economics in Izmir.

DR. PINAR BORU

Pınar Boru, also one of the founding members of Zeytince Association, is an independent researcher and project specialist. Her research areas are environmental economics, sustainable development & gender studies. She has worked in various research and fieldwork project on environmental economics, creative industries, ecological literacy training and sustainable lifestyles since 2013. She has got bachelor’s degree in Mathematics in 2006 and completed her PHD degree in Economics in 2020. She has expertise in qualitative and quantitative methods related to research on sustainable development and environmental economics. She has excellent skills in various statistical programs and programming language such as MATLAB, Stata, SAS, Turbo Pascal, Maple, GAMS, Gauss, SPSS, etc. She has over seven years’ experience about ecology, environmental economics and civil society.

 In her own words:

I’m one of the founding members of Zeytince Association and I’m working voluntarily in this association within various position since 2013.  I was born in Ankara and grew up in the metropolitan area without the knowledge of nature’s language. In my college years when i was attending the trekking camp, I realized how far I lived from being a part of nature. This was the first step for me since then, I have been trying to improve myself in this field.

OZGE YILMAZ

Ozge Yilmaz, has been the president of executive board for Zeytince Association since 2018.  She has been working as an certified financial advisor for over 15 years. She is also a co-founder and co-owner of Mimas Organic Soap Manufacturing Company in Karaburun. She has been among the founders of Zeytince Association and has been carrying out all the financial and administrative works of Zeytince Association.

SELIN TUNCER

I was born as the second daughter of a family who migrated from Karaburun to İzmir due to work and smelling sea and daffodils.

The existence of my village (Eğlenhoca), where transportation was provided with difficulties, was so precious … I have had every experience light that I have here. But my family was growing up under an olive tree tied to their roots.

The first tree to carry an ancient soul that has born itself has always been effective in the process of self-knowledge. Like thoughts are found in the hands of philosophy.

I have found myself in the existence of the Zeytince Association while aiming to establish an attentive relationship with nature. Now I’m going to another world of the Zeytince Association, which belongs to everyone, but who is not really anyone, is also liveable after we go.

SURURI URAS

Olive knows in its own way…

YESIM VARDAR

(Izmir, 1987)

Short Biography: After graduating from Ege University, Department of Economics in 2011, I began my Master’s degree in Economics at Ege University. While I am researching my thesis writing, I am actively working in the field of foreign trade in the private sector.

Motivation: I learned that in my days in my olive fields in the Karaburun-Eğlenhoca Village of İzmir, I had a habit that I could never give up without actually knowing. Intertwined with nature. I felt the sharp cold of the wind and the heat of the sun sweltering under the olive trees of my grandparents and even grandparents. My knees have learned to lean against the ground. I grew up in olive trees while still as beautiful and healthy. In addition to the researches that I have read, learned and learning from sources, I am the one who managed to learn by touching this long life of olive. In my life that shifted towards the city as a necessity for education and livelihood, one side of me always continued to nature with longing and longing.
In this context, Zeytince, who has been living since its establishment, started out with a group of researchers living in the city who never turned their faces into nature by dreaming of creating ecological alternative living spaces. With the decision to discover oneself more on the road, it is possible for everyone to present their own traces.
Together with Zeytince, I believe that living as a whole with olive in ecological life will be able to reach the secrets that I have not discovered, to observe the added value that organized knowledge will bring, to include what I need and to learn to find all the beauties that come from nature but not known by adding new ones when necessary. I believe that thanks to the positive energies of the participants and the positive energy of nature, the fertile fruit of the soil will help the olive to see the value it deserves.