We have only one WORLD yet! -- Fall 2001: 7th issue -- If we destroy it, where else can we go to?

A Profile of Selçuk PERIN:
"You are what you conceive yourself to be. So I'm back!"



When do you learn right or wrong? Hey don't tell me that it is when you are young and hanging off your mom's skirt or your dad's belt! The answer is almost never!

Someone would have said; life begins after 50. Iíd say learning process takes root at 50.                          

Born in Istanbul, a city of 385,000, on a snowy April day in 1950, I grew up learning all its corners. Enjoying its beauty. Hanging off its tramways. Looking at its skyline change and grow.

I would not trade a minute of that knowledge, a second of its smell for all the money of the world. I remember those parts of the city, which people lived in old houses. The wood darkened by the assault of the elements of weather, sagging to one side from age. Yet when you walked in, the warmth of the coal or wood-burning stove welcomed you in a cold day and on a very warm day protected you from the heat.

The Asian part of the city, now resembling a cement block was at those days where all went for holidays, It is at that side that I spent 3 years of my tender youth going to school to St. Joseph high school. With its joy and punishment that's where I learned off good and bad. The respect of the other, the value of friendship. Yet there were very bad days too! Especially Saturdays, when I watched my classmates and friends file out the door to rush home and I had to spend time for one or another reason doing arithmetic's! It was called retenue! It was punishment for non conform behavior to the rules.

Years went by and I moved to Galatasaray Lisesi. A school, which's reputation, had no borders and time limit. Two years there was all they could keep me. Smile! Because that's true. Ended up finishing a decent high school. But in this process of changing schools. I was already the proud owner of two languages.

I grew and Istanbul grew. I began to absorb life and Istanbul got crowded. The small town aspect began to fade and the first signs of becoming a center. There were more people on the streets, more cars. Buildings started to pop up at all and every corner of the city. I must've been 15, maybe 16.

For a kid who could not stop asking questions, who could not stop being intrigues and who could not stop learning it was Ali Baba's cavern. At the time I had already become Turkish champion for all styles of swimming and playing Water polo in the national team for youngsters.

I guess it is around that time that I acquired my first camera. A black thing that did not have much for controls, but took very good pictures. A Russian camera. The bug was already flowing in my veins.

Again around the same time I've told dad that I wanted to work summers. He said: "You want to work? Ok. Tomorrow at the paper." He said.  I was going to get the surprise of my life. Dressed as the owner of son, I took the morning trip with him to the paper. To my surprise I had to wait until noon. A long, very long time for a young man full of energy and a craving for learning! My first encounter with journalism started that day. It is a long time ago! Almost a lifetime if we consider that at some parts of the world life expectancy is still around 50 years of age.

Then University. I was crazy about electronics. Two years and two full years of working in the day with dad on the Durum Weekly and going to school at night. With student strikes, barricades, police, tests with no students or student without tests! I finally gave up my dream of becoming an electronical engineer.

Doing one's military service was mandatory. So at age 21 I applied for to be sent. They sent me away laughing. No room for you until 1978. I was there. No school, but work. I could not stop now. So I applied for a grant and obtained and went to University of Tulsa, Tulsa, Oklahoma. Not to continue my electronics studies but to become a Journalist. A journalist who has some kind of background that could be used in any and every place.

Pictures had become a part of me. So as soon as I have arrived at school I did the rounds on local papers and News agencies. UPI was to be those for whom I will be taking pictures, covering stories for the next 17 years. In the United States and later in Europe.

Life is short or long. That depends how you conceive it. Hürriyet daily was a two-year experience some might say should be regretful. I said full of insight.

Then life proposes you different doors. It's to you to push one and go further. I have stopped journalism in 1987 and went along my life. Doing several things. But, you are what you conceive yourself to be. So I'm back. Better than before, better and more understanding than yesterday.

Now I have a tool, which I can use for the good or bad of the others. I choose to be contraversional. Never liked to be a Yes man.

I look, I think, I see, and most important  I say. I say what I see, what I think and what I feel. I believe it when I see.

Now, sometimes I write and at other times I'm taking pictures. I do work too you know!
 "Gönül ne kahve ister ne hane;
Gönül muhabbet ister, kahve bahane "

"The heart wants neither coffee nor home,
The heart wants friendship, coffee is the excuse."


Selçuk Perin
April 9, 1950

E-mail: smperin@brutele.be

This issue is dedicated to such distinguished artists and author as (alphabetical order):
We will be celebrating the second anniversary with the Winter-2002 issue. Deadline: January 7, 2002
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@ The Light Millennium e-magazine was created and designed by Bircan ÜNVER. 7th issue. Fall 2001, New York.
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