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22.01.2020 17:27 News >> Turkey's Grandpa Earth Hayrettin Karaca Laid To Rest

Turkey's Grandpa Earth Hayrettin Karaca Laid To Rest

Co founder, honorary president of one of Turkey's foremost non profit environmental groups, Karaca died, 97, on Monday.

By Emrah Gokmen
ISTANBUL (A) - A prominent Turkish environmentalist, Hayrettin Karaca, was laid to rest in Istanbul on Wednesday.
The co-founder and honorary president of one of Turkey's foremost non-profit environmental organizations, Karaca -- or as he was known, Grandpa Earth -- died on Monday at the age of 97.
His funeral was held at Istanbul's historic Fatih Mosque following the noon prayer prior to his burial at the Edirnekapi Cemetery.
Earlier on Wednesday, a farewell ceremony was held for the founder of the Turkish Foundation for Combating Soil Erosion, for Reforestation and the Protection of Natural Habitats (TEMA), the country's largest environmental non-profit organization.
Speaking at the ceremony, Ali Nihat Gokyigit, a co-founder and honorary president of TEMA, said Karaca was a "comrade" in serving nature.
Gokyigit underlined that the group's struggle had begun before environmental problems around the world reached Turkey.
"He explained this issue very well," he said, adding: "We must raise awareness that an area equals the size of a Greek island is being lost every year."
Karaca's efforts led to the establishment of Turkey's first private botanical garden.
His commitment to protecting the flora and fauna of the country earned him the local nickname, Grandpa Earth.
He was eventually awarded the Forest Hero Award from the UN in 2013 in recognition of his services.
Karaca was born in 1922 in Turkey's western province of Balikesir and took up his prosperous family business. -



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