Turkish professor throws birthday party for tree he planted last year
A Turkish professor of fine arts has thrown a birthday party for a sapling he planted last year to bring awareness to the devastation of forest fires. For the birthday party, Prof. Mehmet Kavukcu wrote “happy birthday” on the soil in quicklime and piled dirt and pinecones around the sapling as gifts.
Dean of Erzincan Binali Yıldırım University Faculty of Fine Arts, Prof. Mehmet Kavukcu, threw a birthday party for a sapling he planted last year to raise awareness about forest fires.
According to reporting by online news outlet T24, he wrote “happy birthday” on the ground in quicklime and took photos with the tree, named after his daughter.
“In this performance, I also gave the sapling some soil and pine cones as a birthday present,” he said.
Kavukcu has staged numerous performance art pieces throughout his career to draw attention to social issues such as terrorism, violence, waste, death, the refugee crisis, and the coronavirus pandemic.
He has focused on the sapling project for the last year, since the tree was planted under the auspices of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for the newly-declared National Reforestation Day on Nov. 11, 2020. He named the sapling after his daughter and, every day, visited the plant, kissed it, and caressed it like a real child. He said that he did this to highlight the importance of trees for the environment and for future generations.
“It is a very important task for us, especially for our children, to protect nature. Nature is one of the most important and valuable assets for the next generation, for the future, and we need to ensure that it reaches the future in a healthy way,” Kavukcu said.
For the birthday party, he wrote “happy birthday” on the soil in quicklime and piled dirt and pinecones around the sapling as gifts. He threw quicklime into the air and laid on the ground next to his sapling, taking selfies. He invited his colleagues and students to join, and celebrate the birthdays of their own saplings.