GREEN / INTERVIEW / June 4, 2017

Interview with Mert Gökalp on Bluefish Documentary part:3

bluefish 7

©Mert Gökalp 


In the last part of the interview with Mert Gökalp, the director of Bluefish documentary, we discussed projections on the future should the human interference continue at such a drastic scale. 


The story of Bluefish seems to be a local one, but in fact it is an extension of a global problem. How to give a wake-up call?

Considering our limited budget, it is amazing to have produced such a documentary. If we are supported, I am sure high-quality films will be produced in Turkey. There are many highly-competent people in this country. The reason for such productions to be made in Europe, US and Australia is support and interest. If only we had support and interest. Life is not all about football. We should not be investing all the money in football. We are ignoring science and arts. Corporations should change their visions and support people or institutions that are likely to find solutions for problems or gain success in different fields.


4 mert gokalp 

In the documentary, the journalist and writer Tan Morgül has made such a good observation as “perceiving the whole world  like a product on a supermarket shelf.” This perspective is definitely a distorted one. What are the worst and best scenarios in this case -bluefish in particular, but the world in general?

To tell the truth, I don’t think we have a good scenario. As the human population increases, the regions humans have settled are turning into concrete. Forests, rivers and seas are getting polluted. A species extinct a minute. The need for food is increasing. While it gets challenging to feed ourselves, we poison ourselves and nature. This accounts for the increase in the cancer cases, as in the heart-related death. We die because we poison ourselves. We cure ourselves with medicine, which ironically poisons us. Everything revolves around money and humans. We need to realize that if we do not reverse it quickly enough, nature will find its solution against us. Humans are like a virus in nature. There is no other species in nature as destructive as human beings. Unlike human beings, all other species hunt enough to survive. We should not forget that nature could easily take back anything it has offered to us. Human species could extinct or our number could drop down to a few hundred thousands. When we say ‘nature’, we also mean the universe; a meteor may hit the planet one day.

Waking up in the morning and going to work, making investment in the Stock Exchange, the system of money, or gun trade… We all need to give a second thought about these issues. “Are we here to do all these? What are we meant to do as a species?” We must ask all of these philosophical questions. I really believe we are on the wrong path and we will hit the wall simply because we are not really aware of what is going on.


bluefish 8

©Mert Gökalp 


How did we evolve like this? How unfortunate it is!

The milestone is humans’ ability to overcome animals and nature thanks to using tools. So,  there is no longer need to run away, or hide in the caves… cultivating the soil, settling down, all of these resulted in their spreading across the world, having more power, evolution of their mind, and defeating other beings. However, the greatest disaster started with the Industrial Revolution. The reason for capitalism to be so strong is to do with our inability to understand what we have caused and to establish the right system. We are governed by big corporations, not by governments, thus following their agenda, which is growing against all odds.

I believe economic growth as a measure of social welfare is an illusion. Such a mindset continuously imposes growth. Where will it take us to?

Exactly! Well, there are some people and corporations who are aware of the current situation This is not the path to follow! Either the planet will be destroyed or we will be wiped out but the planet will go on. It could happen to us even in our life time. Climate change is not confined by flooding of the Maldives or the Netherlands.

There is a serious global warming due to carbon release: the icebergs are melting, the sea level is rising, the climate is somehow changing. In a global sense, corals and algae are vital to life. They are the ones that produce oxygen, thereby life in the seas. The fact that they are getting white means a source of food, or an organism is due to extinction.

And there is also methane gas trapped in the icebergs, which are melting. If the gas rises, it could lead way to a serious amount of carbon release, speeding up the catastrophe. If not in our life time, our children or grandchildren could witness it in their life time. We are aware of massive compulsory migrations and lack of accessible food. There is not enough land. Syrians are immigrating in order to avoid the war.  Are we truly aware of the reasons for the war? Water and food shortages, the crisis between people and their governments, and the presence of other countries that aggravate the crisis. What happened in Syria could also happen in Turkey or in the southern parts of Europe. Imagine wars and migration in these regions. It may happen in the near future and we continue to live in sheer stupidity.


bluefish 6

©Mert Gökalp 


So you say the war in Syria and the migration is related to the climate change, right?

Yes, it is related to the global warming, food and water shortages, the shrink of agricultural land due to climate change. The conflict in Syria started as a result of the compulsory migration of people who did agriculture to other regions in the country, the tough response of the government to their protests, and abusive policies of other countries. I am expecting it to happen in Turkey too; we despise Syrians but what happened to them could happen to us because we do not have an environmental policy. It is all about urbanization. We destroy nature and we are not really aware of it. We will pay for it very soon. I’d like to make a movie about it too!



It is as if everything is falling apart not only in this part of the world but everywhere else too. How will we take care of it all?

Do you want the ultimate solution for it? If we are to look at the situation from the perspective of the environment, the ecosystem, the relationship between the ecosystem and humans, the problem does resolve! Well, this is the reason why in the developed world, green political parties have become so powerful. Whichever system you turn to, you see shortcomings. Protecting the ecosystem actually means protecting ourselves. It means protecting the river, the forest, other organisms living on the land. It means protecting you and me.

Have you noticed the trend after the Gezi Park protests of 2013? Many people have quitted their jobs, and changed their way of life. They realized they are pursuing the wrong thing. There were many who returned to the land and agriculture. We need to stop and give a second thought on these issues. As for documentaries, if we present good-quality ones, the public will be responsive to it. We need such books.

Hope the documentary reaches out to a great number of people and becomes a beacon of hope for us all. 

Me too.

Tags:  Bluefish Bosphorus documentary environment Syrian war

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