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N: You have been endeavouring to do this since the age of 14. Where did you find this motivation? How did you make yourself believe? When you believed in yourself you set a target and put in a lot of effort towards this target. Where did you find that strength? How did you enable the consistency of that?

E: I was never a successful student academically, but I was a child who was aware of my social talents. I was a child who always asked myself questions like “What’d happen if I had a good education?” or “What’d happen If I wasn’t born into such a family?” My mother was doing charity works when I was a child and once she took me with her to the school that she went to. Seeing the poverty and the lack of love that my peers were exposed to triggered something in my subconscious and its seeds sprouted in me during high school. I studied on a scholarship throughout my academic life. I was always aware while I studied on a scholarship, that if this zone wasn’t provided to me, I would have to do the “math”. Maybe it was with that nervousness I always had those kids in my mind whom I saw at that school that I went to. With the thought that I could’ve also been like that and “what would I have done then?”, I laid the foundations of today’s SosyalBen. Everything else I learned on the road. I defended that the thing that I was exposed to was a positive trauma. My only motivation was the idea of that we could conduct our lives and our career plans with the thing that we know called talent.

N: What does a child mean to you?

E: With one word, “love”. Love is such a big and magical thing that it doesn’t fit into a mold. I don’t code love only on two people. That’s why, with one word, love.

N: What does gönül mean, then? 

E: Gönül…


“I think gönül is the home of love. love grows there, its seeds are planted there and sprout there.”


N: You know how you always say, “Volunteering is something that can be taught afterwards”. “How can one be a volunteer?”, what does “gönül” mean for you to be a volunteer?  

E: I think “gönül” is the home of love. Love grows there, its seeds are planted there and sprout there. I think it is such a big home that it could offer a room even to love. That’s what gönül is to me. That’s why, when we look at volunteering from “gönül”, we can’t consider the thing that is evoked as a one-sided thing, that’s a two-way thing. It is something that is loved as much as it loves, something that is taught as much as it teaches. If love doesn’t embrace “gönül” as a home, as we frequently see outside today, we see people profiles who are creating huge troubles for themselves instead of being happy. The reason of all these is the dialogue disconnections between “gönül” and love. (PS: Gönül also means “heart” in Turkish but not the actual, physical heart that pumps blood but it is in the metaphorical sense which the emotions and the love we feel come from the “gönül”)


N: So is it the mind interfering? 

E: Yes. Everyone’s story is different. Everyone’s “gönül” and love journey might be different. We need to let that happen. If we let that happen, then the person’s signature occurs; however, we don’t do that. We also consider doing so as a luxury to ourselves.

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