Turkish man on mission to leave behind greener planet
A retired Turkish officer is on a mission to leave behind a greener planet to honor the memory of his late wife.
He underwent a brain surgery 10 years ago and says the recovery phase was particularly difficult.
After having a historical windmill restored in the neighborhood, he spends most of his time in nature on the advice of doctors.
"I purchased one of the historical windmills of Datca. I settled here after having had it restored. I started to grow saplings in its garden. In the first five years, I grew a large forest with around 5,000 pistachio trees.
"I have grown 8,000 saplings so far. I have grown these saplings to honor my late wife’s memory, who raised my children in the best way. My goal is to grow more than 500 saplings every year."
He said it takes seven to eight years for a sapling to grow into a tree.
"Now my aim is to grow over 500 gumwood trees. If God gives me life these trees will take 10 years to grow. If I don’t live enough, my children will carry forward my legacy."
Arseven is also a volunteer of the Turkish Foundation for Combating Soil Erosion, for Reforestation and the Protection of Natural Habitats (TEMA).
He says he feels contented when he visits the forests he has managed to grow with such dedication.
He also gives away the saplings to domestic and foreign tourists who visit him.
Arseven’s son-in-law, Ercan Aydemir said: "His efforts are a great service for the country. When my children were born, I donated a thousand saplings each time. Our goal as a family is to make our country much more greener."