Erol Bilecik

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Erol Bilecik
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Now It's Time to Learn from the Pandemic

This extraordinary period in which we live reminds me of a phrase that I love very much: “Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.” We all had plans for 2020, but life had quite different plans. The coronavirus pandemic has been one of the most important events of the last 100 years. Because of the epidemic that has affected the entire world, we are all going through a difficult period. We are having an extremely interesting experience where one mask is much more valuable than oil, and where being only a financial center or being strong in the defense industry is not enough for everything, and where leaders with the power to shake the world become afraid to touch the door handle.


With the outbreak, the world has reached a turning point. We've gone beyond what we thought was normal. Everything suddenly turned upside down. So, what can coronavirus tell us? What lessons can we learn from this pandemic?


The most important lesson we had to take in the Covid-19 process was that “the most important thing in life is health, the rest will be resolved somehow.” Another lesson was to realize how much we need solidarity as all countries of the world. The newspapers wrote that the following words were seen on the boxes of medical aid supplies sent from China to Italy: "We are the waves of the same sea".  From Cuba to Italy, doctors went for support. We've realized that we will now have to fight globally together for global problems in the world.


In this process, we've learned once again the importance of reason and science. The respect for healthcare professionals and scientists has come where it deserves to be. And, of course, we've also seen the warning of nature. Finally, nature told us to "stop." Interesting things happened in the quarantined areas. There is no air pollution left in Wuhan, where the epidemic first started. Now fish and swans can be seen on the canals of Venice where a fould smell made it impossible to pass by in summer months. From now on, our priority should be to construct a life that respects people and nature. Because let's not forget that “nature can live without human beings; but human beings cannot survive after nature is destroyed. "


With this change, dozens, maybe even hundreds of new ways of life accompanied by the word “remote” or “remote online” have appeared. Technology has played a leading role in people' working remotely from home, remote online education, and doctors' starting remote online treatment and many more. We have a phrase that everyone knows: “a good scare is worth more than good advice.” A solution to coronavirus will definitely be found in the near future. However, this virus has triggered a very rapid technological change all over the world. And the whole world has agreed on this point: The trump card of competition is now technology!


Today, as in all countries of the world, due to the pandemic, the difficulties we face have increased. I believe that education is the cure for our most fundamental problems. Today, no matter where you look, e.g.  economy, democracy,  legal system, or health system, we see only one thing at the root of all problems: inadequate education! Young people who will grow up with a scientific-based and modern education system will be the guarantee of the future of our country. Half of our population is under the age of 30. If we raise this young population in a way that can compete with the world, we will surely win the race in this century. In summary, education is the main path toward our goal of being among the top 10 economies in the world.


"Trouble always guides people.” Yes, we are now having a pandemic which was never thought to happen before. The best thing we can do is to learn the lessons from this pandemic.

I would like to summarize them as follows:

1.   Health comes first. The one who is healthy has hope, and the one who has hope has everything.

2.   The most accurate guide to a country's future is science and reason.

3.   This crisis expects solidarity from us not only within our borders, but also across borders. For this, we must first show the world the example of solidarity and unity in our country!

4.   At all costs, we must move to a nature-friendly way of life. As long as we protect nature, nature will protect us.

5.   In a world that is rapidly evolving to digital, technology is now the trump card of competition for both institutions and countries.

6.   And the common ground of them all: education, education, and necessarily education!


I think we're going through a very important turning point in history. Life is changing at a much greater pace these days. Resisting change is resisting life. As Turkey, the way to reach a stronger tomorrow is to try to be better every day than the previous day. Let's not forget that whoever does not try to be better cannot stay good either.

May you have a continuous hope for a much better future!

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