World traveler, scientist, author, lecturer, and renaissance man visits Pohnpei

 MG 1636By Bill Jaynes

The Kaselehlie Press

August 11, 2018

FSM—Sometimes you meet a person whose accomplishments are so numerous and astounding that it’s hard to wrap your mind around all that they have done. Dr. Orhan Kural of Turkey is that kind of man but because of his personality, I didn’t know the extent of it until I looked at his website (www.orhankural.org).

He came into my life when he walked through my office door carrying a backpack and dragging a suitcase on Friday. He introduced himself and then proceeded to pull publication after publication from his suitcase and backpack, a small sample of books he had published. He told me that he is a world traveler and had been told by someone on his journeys to look me up.

His business card lists as a Lecturer of Istanbul Aydin University, Honorary Consul of Republic of Benin, Vice Honorary Consul of Vanuatu, President of Turkish Travelers Club of Turkey, and the President of the Association of Yellow Crescent. All of those titles are just a hint of what Dr. Kural is about.

To say that he is a world traveler is to understate the matter in the extreme. During his current trip he visited the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and of course, the Federated States of Micronesia. After departing from the FSM he traveled to Tuvalu, and Nauru. They were the last four countries he needed to have visited in order to have visited all 193 countries recognized by the United Nations.

The number of countries a traveler has visited is one way to talk about how extensively one has traveled but another, better way is by region. The Nomad Mania site divides the world up into 1281 regions, the idea being that, for instance, spending a day in New York city does not mean that at a traveler has actually visited the United States. Before Dr. Kural’s current trip he was ranked as the 41st most traveled person, having visited 764 of the 1281 regions. That ranking is likely to go up after this journey during which he will also visit Saipan which, as a US Territory is not one of the 193 UN countries.

If travelling was all that Dr. Kural did it would be astounding enough but he also lectures on environmental issues around the world as he travels. To date he has given over 6000 seminars and lectures. And in this, Dr. Kural is somewhat of an anomaly. While he is a vegetarian, non-smoker, non-drinker, and staunch environmentalist who speaks of witnessing the effects of climate change in Kiribati and other places, he holds a Doctorate in coal engineering and has written four major textbooks on the use of coal for energy production.

Exploring that topic a bit further, Dr. Kural said that many nations including India and Turkey have no choice but to power their industrial revolutions with coal. It’s use won’t be going away anytime soon but the point of his studies is to find the least environmentally intrusive way of using it. Using technical language that we didn’t quite understand he talked about techniques that can be and are being used, some of which he developed, to nearly eliminate pollutants from coal’s use leaving carbon dioxide as the only emission. That, of course, is still very problematic since it is CO2 emissions that has driven climate change and is troubling to him.

During all of this time Dr. Kural has also written many other books, 17 of them on travel and the environment. He carries with him on his travels a small book of 48 pages entitled “Let’s Save Our Planet Together…Do Something for Earth”. Originally written in Turkish it has been translated into 15 languages and he hands them out wherever he travels.

Dr. Kural is also a photographer. His work has been displayed at 57 photo exhibits around the world.

Dr. Kural arrived in Pohnpei on the Nauru Airlines flight on August 10, and after visiting the national capitol complex and seeing some of the sights, left Pohnpei on the early morning August 12 flight.

His website is an interesting read and is well worth looking at. He is a remarkable man and it was a pleasure to have met him.