Turkish environmentalist honored by alternative Nobels

Turkish environmentalist honored by alternative Nobels

Stockholm - The Associated Press
Turkish environmentalist honored by alternative Nobels

TEMA co-founder Hayrettin Karaca will be presented with an honorary prize.

A British anti-arms trade campaign and promoters of peace, human rights and the environment from Turkey, United States and Afghanistan have been named as winners of this year’s Right Livelihood Awards, also known as the “alternative Nobels.”

Turkish environmentalist Hayrettin Karaca, who co-founded the TEMA foundation that has grown into an international movement that combats soil erosion and protects natural habitats, will receive an honorary prize for “a lifetime of tireless advocacy and support for the protection and stewardship of our natural world,” the jury said.

Gene Sharp, an American developer and promoter of nonviolent revolution techniques, will share the $195,000 cash prize with Afghan doctor and human rights defender Sima Samar and the Britain-based Campaign Against Arms Trade.

Work ignored by Nobel Prize

The awards were founded in 1980 by Swedish-German philanthropist Jakob von Uexkull to recognize work he felt was being ignored by the Nobel Prizes.

The prize jury said that Sharp, whose research into peaceful protests has inspired thousands and influenced social movements in Iran, Myanmar and Egypt, was cited for developing “strategies of nonviolent resistance and supporting their practical implementation in conflict areas.” He has advised governments and social movements on how to end oppression without using violence.

Described by the jury as “a doctor of the poor,” Afghanistan’s Samar was honored for her “longstanding and courageous dedication” to human rights in her homeland. She has helped establish hundreds of schools and dozens of health-care clinics aimed at helping the poor, especially women and children.

The Campaign Against Arms Trade was cited for increasing public awareness of the global arms trade. The jury said it has exposed “the corruption, hypocrisy and lethal consequences around this trade and has been instrumental in holding the U.K. government and arms companies to account for the same.” The prizes will be presented to the winners at a ceremony on Dec. 7.