Turkish academic has tattoos of plants he discovered on his arm
İZMİR – Anadolu Agency
Erkuter Leblebici, a 79-year-old academic who retired from Ege University’s Botanical Garden and Herbarium Research and Application Center, has tattoos of the plant species he has discovered throughout his career and gained to literature inked on his arm.
Leblebici, who was passionate about nature since a young age, started working as a laboratorian in the biology department at the university’s science faculty in 1963. Then he became a member of the academic staff, later working as a lecturer in the same faculty.
Drawing the attention of academics with his interest in plants, Leblebici made progress in his biology education with their support, before going on a journey to Anatolia.
Leblebici, who also took part in founding the university’s Botanic Garden and Herbarium Application and Research Center, registered 21 plant species in botanical literature. Having been awarded with a service medal by the university, he retired in 1996.
Although retired, Leblebici still works. He is supporting an encyclopedic study titled “Illustrated Flora of Turkey,” prepared under the auspices of the Turkish Presidency.
After bringing 21 new plant species to the world of science at the end of his studies, Leblebici began inking some of the plants he named on his arms.
Stating that he loved living among nature, Leblebici said plants carried different meanings for him.
“I received education at the Hamburg and Edinburgh universities. I worked with foreign scientists who were studying plant species in Turkey. I have conducted studies on Turkish flora for many years,” he said, adding that all species he had collected belonged to Turkey.
Stating that he spent his life with plants, Leblebici said, “If I name them, they should be together with me. This is why I have tattoos of them on my arms. At the moment, I have the paintings of vardar basil, beydağarcığı, Aladağ pamakotu, black moss and İzmir bell plants. Some of these are the species I have discovered, and some are the ones that were attributed to me. There is the Echinops mersinensis too, so I am thinking about getting a tattoo of that.”