I was born in Switzerland (1968), and grown up in Ankara, Turkey. I live and work today in Switzerland. I am married, and have a daughter. I worked recently as financial analyst and investment consultant for the renewable energy industry.
Though I studied engineering, economy and finance my real passion has always been nature. I began keeping aquariums as early as I was nine years old. Since then, I kept many aquariums and lots of fish, plant and invertebrate species. My favorite fish family is of course cichlids with their fascinating behaviors. My relatively new area of interest is low-tech natural aquariums as almost self-sufficient ecosystems that are I think ideal models for sustainable life. As to sustainability, my favorite slogan is maximum ecology minimum technology. With technology I mean manmade tools and equipments; not the more refined technology of nature.
Almost for everyone there are some brilliant people who add new dimensions to your way of thinking. David Attenborough is for me one of them. I watched his every documentary on wildlife, and I owe him much concerning my fascination for and knowledge about nature. His documentary film on social insects Life in the Undergrowth is for me an absolute masterpiece.
Richard Dawkins’s Selfish Gene and The Extended Phenotype, Jared Diamond’s Collapse, Bertrand Russel’s articles on philosophy and religion are for me invaluable works which added much to my understanding in evolution, environmental history and philosophy. I can never forget to mention Diana Walstad’s The Ecology of the Planted Aquarium and George W. Barlow’s Cichlid Fishes.
The Nobel Price owner J. Stiglitz’s brave criticism on IMF is for me a strong eye opener against every kind of blind ideology and dogma like the unquestioned growth and development myth in the capitalist economy. Largely ignoring the environment, narrow-minded pure focus on human-production whereby forgetting the production capacity of our ecosystem are for me the biggest mistakes of the neoclassical theory of economy.
I think, sustainable life on our planet requires most importantly a wide-spread environmental consciousness, population control and renewable energy. The old myths of economy like purely manmade development and growth must be redefined because we need first of all an intact ecosystem for well-being. It is ridiculous to have an apparent growth manifested by some dollar numbers grotesquely contradicted by a diminishing quality of life, most significantly in the third world. Development should actually mean a better life for the majority; not more manmade tools or more material consumption. The old neoclassical economics full of ideologies and myths will hopefully leave its place to the more rational ecological economics.
My hobbies are aquariums, photography, piano and tennis. I used to watch football when I was younger, but nowadays I watch only tennis, especially if Roger Federer plays. I like to listen to every kind of music including oriental, classical and jazz. My favorite composers are Bach, Scarlatti and Münir Nurettin Selçuk; my favorite pianists Oscar Peterson and Horowitz. The novels which impressed me most are Steinbeck’s East of Eden, Stendhal’s The Red and The Black, Tolstoy’s War and Peace, Sommerset Maugham’s The Moon and The Sixpence and Oğuz Atay’s Tutunamayanlar (loosers). As to poetry my favorites are Ömer Hayyam, Orhan Veli and Nazım Hikmet.
My prominent heroes from history are Socrates, Cicero, Galileo, Ömer Hayyam, Gandhi, Kanuni (law maker) Sultan Süleyman, Yunus Emre, Darwin and of course Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey.
Tunç Ali Kütükçüoğlu, 20. June 2009, Zürich