Why Was Kreta the Time Traveler Created, and How Was It Applied?

I have been dreaming, writing and applying since my childhood. Most of my dreams have become reality, but Kreta the Time Traveler was totally different, because there were words of rebellion said by children, and the “ethical responsibility” mentioned by Greta made me write it.

With this essay, I would like to raise the question of adults’ responsibilities on our planet by sharing the exciting and productive journey of Kreta the Time Traveler as part of Project Zoom, supported by the Impact Hub and the U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul.

Why Was Kreta the Time Traveler Created?

After watching the legendary speech dear Greta Thunberg gave at the UN Climate Summit, I dreamed of this project. Greta was screaming, looking into our eyes; she said that we set fire to our own house, that we had stolen our children’s dreams and their future with empty words. And she was right.

Even as a person who wrote a children’s play about climate change in 2008, has followed the subject as an Açık Radio listener since 2013 and has read documents on the subject from different sources, I realized that I was not fulfilling my duties adequately.

Yes, I supported the climate protests, changing my habits and guiding my child in this area, but it was not enough. I should have done something else. I should have supported children’s great purpose more.

Kreta the Time Traveler was established to support climate activist children, mainly Greta Thunberg. I tried to use my own ability, writing, to reach more people regarding this significant issue. I wanted to add a container of water to efforts to keep the climate crisis on the agenda. I tried to think and make people think about the climate crisis by questioning our consumption habits, which have made the Earth tired and stolen our future. And all these reasons led my mind through this project.

How Was Kreta the Time Traveler Applied?

While dreaming about the project, I heard about Project Zoom, supported by Impact Hub and the US Consulate General in Istanbul. It was a great opportunity. An exciting journey began for me when Kreta the Time Traveler was announced as one of the twenty projects to be supported.

Research and Development

At the beginning of the journey, I needed to gather everything I needed and fill my bag. I dived into books, documentaries and essays that have returned as new habits in my life. As I read, listened, watched and wrote, I started to be enriched and simplify my life. The sources that I used are listed at the end of this text. Some sources may have been forgotten due to lack of time during the project. I wish there were no crisis, and no need for these readings. I also talked to many teachers and PDR specialists to discuss how we should share the effects of the climate crisis with children—some of these enlightening interviews have been published here on this website.

Building and Applying Other Elements of the Project Around the Main Text

During the research and development phase, I wrote the first draft of the project in the first two months. While I was researching, the first sentences of the story were also constructed. Then my dear editors Alev Topal and Ebru Aksoy joined the journey. They repeatedly read each chapter that was completed, patiently correcting the deficiencies and redundancies.

Ebru, Alev and I spent three weeks getting the story ready to be published as a book. At this stage, Selin Saygılı joined the journey. She drew the amazing illustrations that you see in the book. She made a tremendous effort to integrate each illustration with the story and trigger children’s imaginations. And she definitely succeeded.

While Selin was busy illustrating the book, we focused on the video. We classified the information that we collected about consumer goods for the video in order to use it in the scenario. The first phase of the video was writing the scenario. Then I sent the scenario to The Sustainability Steps Association and PCG specialists, dear Ramazan Aksoy and Canan Çağdavul. Sometimes a person gets caught up in the story’s flow and skips the truths that she knows by heart. This correction process was beneficial in order to avoid this kind of mistake. Some deficiencies were found and remedied.

At the production phase of the video, dear Onur Demirsoy joined us. I feel very lucky that my path crossed that of a very talented animator like him, who animated the film of my dreams. Dear Korhan Koryürek added music and effects to Onur’s wonderful animation, making it even more enjoyable.

Then I started to work on the website, which was the hardest part, I must admit. This website has been an online area for us to share about our project and to manage events. I was more of a hindrance than a help, while dear Serdar Bağtır was building it.

At the final phase of illustration, we met with dear Kadir Ateş. He prepared the book for printing with great patience by setting up the graphic layout of the cover and the interior of the book. Finally, the design from his elegant hands reached our printing house.

Barter Markets

Unfortunately, at the moment we are not able to organize barter markets, which are the most important part of the project, due to the pandemic. We are looking forward to schools being reopened and to putting into practice this exciting part of the project. Nevertheless, I could not wait for long to organize some small events. Towards the end of October, when the rate of infection and restrictions were not as high as now, I did an experimental practice activity with a group of little playmates, whom we interviewed in a controlled manner, in my neighborhood. I had a chance to evaluate barter events with my child friends. We discussed the concepts of “second hand goods”, “consumption” and “bartering”. My hope is to have these discussions with more children.

I have tried to explain the process of a book project and share the pleasure I got from it as much as I could. It is not always possible to convert a children’s book into a project due to circumstances. Once again, I would like to thank the team of Project Zoom, Impact Hub and the U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul. I hope it will be a long-lived and productive project. I am grateful to all those who contributed.

Resources used for the project:

Giray Kömürcü, Nasıl Bir Gelecek?, Aganta Publishing, 2020
Hayri Kozanoğlu, 50 Soruda Küresel İklim Değişikliği ve İnsanlar, Altınbaş University Publishing House, 2020
Elizabeth Kolbert, Altıncı Yok Oluş, Trans.: Nalan Tümay, Okuyanus Publishing, 2016
Deniz Kahriman Pamuk (ed.), Çevre Eğitimi ve Sürüdürülebilirlik, Anı Publishing, 2019
Richard Louv, Doğadaki Son Çocuk, Trans.: Ceyhan Temürcü, TÜBİTAK Publishing, 2018
Ömer Madra, Kıyamet Tacirlerine Karşı Kıyam Et, Kırmızı Kedi Publishing, 2019
Öykü Yaman – Emine Aksoydan (ed.), Sürdürülebilir Yaşam Rehberi, Yeni İnsan Publishing House, 2020
Fikret Başkaya, Gençlerle Baş Başa İklim Krizi ve Ekolojik Yıkım, Yordam Books, 2020
Sinan Eden, İklim Krizi ve Yaptırmamak, Doruk Publishing, 2015
Şölen Kipöz (ed.), Sürdürülebilir Moda, Yeni İnsan Publishing House, 2019
Tom Athanasiou – Paul Baer, Ölümcül Sıcak, Trans.: Ali K. Saysel, bgst Publishing, 2006
Devin Bahçeci, Kişisel Karbon Ayak İzi Rehberi, Yeni İnsan Publishing, 2020-11-23
Otto Von Busch, Moda Praksisi, Trans.: Dilara Kılıç, Yeni İnsan Publishing House, 2017
Ömer Madra – Ümit Şahin, Açık Yeşil, Açık Radio Books, 2019
Ömer Madra – Ümit Şahin, Açık Yeşil 2, Açık Radio Books, 2020
Brian Tokar, İklim Adaletine Doğru, Öteki Publishing House, 2014

Books that children can also read:
John Farndon, Yakından Tanıyın Petrol, Trans.: Ekrem Emre Sezer, TÜBİTAK Publishing, 2015
Alper K. Ateş, Sürdürülebilirlik, National Geographic Kids, 2017
John Woodward, Yakından Tanıyın İklim Değişimi, Trans.: Deniz Candaş, TÜBİTAK Publishing, 2019
Anna Hatzimanoli, Mevsimler ve İklim, Trans.: Anna Maria Aslanoğlu, Dinozor Çocuk, 2007
Laurie David – Cambria Gordon, Dikkat, Eriyorum!, Trans.: Ekin Duru, Ekoiq Books, 2007
Ertan Tuzlacı, Doğa ve Çocuk, Kırmızı Kedi Publishing House, 2015
Annika Oyrabø, Atık Malzemelerle Yapabileceğiniz Muhteşem Robotlar ve Maketler, Trans.: Yonca Kocadağ, Epsilon Publishing House, 2016
Gülşah Özdemir Koryürek, Küresel Şaşırma, Sıfırdan Publishing House, 2015
Karine Balzeau, Sıfır Atık Görevleri, Trans.: Sebla Kutsal, Sırtlan Çocuk, 2020
Susan E. Goodman, Uzayda Nasıl Geğirilir?, Trans.: Ahmet Coşkun, TÜBİTAK Publishing, 2017
Tuğba Özdinç, Jeyjey’in Atık Evi, Düşizi, 2015
Sima Özkan, Deniz’in Sıfır Atık Kitabı, Redhouse Kidz, 2019
Sima Özkan, Soso’nun Kompost Kitabı, Redhouse Kidz, 2019

Web Sites: