Beyond Plastics, art and philosophy !
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Speech delivered by Engin Sokullu

at CIPAD 2007 welcome dinner in Istanbul


Dear Presidents, dear guests, welcome to İstanbul and to our dinner.
I wish you a nice stay in İstanbul.
Please let me first introduce myself.
My name is Engin Sokullu
I am the President of TEKNOINTEL. 
TEKNOINTEL aims to be the link between the creators of high technology in the world and the users of such technologies in Turkey.
With your permission I will speak shortly in turkish and will continue again in english.

Sayın Başkan, Sayın misafirler.
CIPAD üyelerini ağırladığımız  bu yemeğimize hoşgeldiniz.
Müsaadenizle önce kendimi tanıtacağım.
Adım Engin Sokullu.
Bir işletme ve teknoloji brokerliği firması olan TEKNOINTEL’in başkanıyım.
TEKNOİNTEL, dünyada yüksek teknolojiyi yaratanlarla bu teknolojileri Türkiye’de kullananlar arasında 
bir bağ kurmayı hedefleyen bir brokerlik firmasıdır.
Yabancı misafirlerimiz onuruna verdiğimiz bu gecede konuşmamı ingilizce yapmak durumunda olduğum için sizlerden özür diliyorum.

Well, addressing again to our foreign guests...I think most of us, our CIPAD as well PAGEV members, 
are engineers or technically oriented professionals.
As an engineer I must confess that I felt several times in my life underestimated by artists and philosophers 
as being “shallow” in cultural life.
That’s why I’ve always tried to find and see the hidden beauties, the art
and the deep meaning, the philosophy, of what we are doing as engineers.
In this historical tower and on this beautiful summer night, I just wanted to share briefly my findings with you.
I can say:
Yes, I believe  what we do is definetely  beautiful and artistic !
And yes, I believe what we do definitely has a deep meaning and a philosophy !

In order to justify my belief I want to refer to a scene of an Omer Sherif movie that I remember.
In this movie , Omer Sherif’s role was the chief engineer who designed a big beautiful ocean liner.
He was traveling aboard that ship in its maiden trip from New York to LeHavre 
with a bunch of artists, writers and philosophers who were discussing the current issues of their small world.
Omer Sherif, as an engineer, wasn’t able to participate to those discussions. 
He was humiliated and underestimated by this group of artists as being shallow in cultural life.
During the final dinner of the trip, he was fed up and he invited all these people down to the engine hall of the ship.
There he showed them all those wonderful machineries, shiny parts, large piston arms and shafts, 
all working in an unbelievable coordination with harmonious sounds.
He emotionally explained in details, the beauties hidden in the functions of these engines.
He added  
“where you hear a loud noise and a monotonous vibration, I hear a high musicality deriving from the harmonious work of all these parts.
I designed all these beauties as you design your own art works. 
But my work has an ambitious function, crossing the ocean,  but yours have none”.

He was right. 
Functional beauties address more deeply to our soul and are more meaningful. 
Who cannot admire the beauty of a well chrome plated shiny extruder screw 
or the electron microscope pictures of our high polymers ?
For me such an extruder screw competes well enough in beauty with many art works exhibited at İstanbul  Modern
our modern arts museum whose building you can see from here.
Again who cannot admire the musicality and the harmony of a well tuned injection molding machine ? 
Who can be indifferent to the beauty of a colorful coil of shiny corrugated plastic pipe ?  
We, the plastic technicians, we do comprehend and admire such beauties! 
But these beauties are seldom appreciated by non-technicians 
just like classical music, opera or ballet that cannot be appreciated by non-educated ears and eyes.

High polymers! Synthetic macromolecules! 
What are they? 
For me they are less chemicals than a victory of manhood on the inert matter.
Man surpasses the nature in synthetizing macromolecules... or does he really ?
That’s the question...a philosophical question indeed.

I consider a good polymer engineer as a philosopher 
because he can comprehend the deep meaning of his mastery of the matter.
And for me a good polymer engineer is also an artist 
because he can design, see and appreciate the beauties hidden in this technical world. 

By the way who was that great Leonardo ? 
An engineer or an artist or a philosopher ?
Who are you, engineers, artists or philosophers ?

Dear guests!  It is my duty to greet the Leonardo’s soul in you...  
you, the great engineers, artists and philosophers of the plastic world.
Welcome again to our historical city with your art and philosophy !

Cher invités, c’est mon devoir de saluer l’âme de Leonardo en vous...,  
vous les grands ingénieurs, les artistes et les philosophes du monde des plastiques.
Bienvenue encore une fois à notre ville historique avec votre art et philosophie.

Sehr geehrte Gaeste, es ist meine Pflicht die Seele Leonardos in Ihnen zu grüssen, 
Sie die grossartigen Ingenieure, Künstler und Philosophen der  plastischen Welt. 
Willkommen nochmals zu unserer  historischen Stadt mit Ihrer  Kunst und Philosophie.

Cari invitati, è mio dovere salutare lo spirito di Leonardo che è in voi … 
voi che siete i grandi artisti e filosofi del mondo della plastica.
Ancora benvenuti nella nostra storica città con la vostra arte e la vostra filosofia.