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Who is MEC?

Who is MEC?

mec_1Our inspiration: Professor Dr. Mahmud Es’ad Cosan

At MEC Foundation, we want to ensure that the non-discriminatory philosophy and ideals of love, compassion, helpfulness and legacy of the great intellect, scholar, visionary humanitarian, philosopher, social justice activist and spiritual leader, internationally renowned Professor Dr. Mahmud Es’ad Cosan, are carried out.

Who is Professor Dr. Mahmud Es’ad Cosan?

Professor Mahmud Es’ad Cosan was born in Ahmetce Village, Canakkale, Turkey, in April 1938. He came from an educated and respectful family and was instilled with faith and justice at a very young age. At four years of age, Professor Cosan’s family moved to Istanbul, where he had exposure to great thinkers of Turkey through his father’s encouragement. In 1950, Professor Cosan graduated from Istanbul Vezneciler Elementary School and from the Science Academy of Vefa College in 1956. He was admitted to Istanbul University in the same year in recognition for his outstanding academic achievement and devotion to research.

In 1960, he graduated from the Faculty of Literature, School of Arab-Persian Philology at Istanbul University. He also completed various Graduate Certificates in Arab and Persian Language and Literature, Middle-Age History, and Turkish-Islamic Art. He joined the Faculty of Theology at Ankara University as a research assistant and received his Doctorate (PhD) in 1965. In addition to being active staff member of the Faculty of Theology, he convened the Turkish and Humanities Studies course at Ankara Engineering and Architecture Graduate School. He received his Associate Professorship seven years later. He was appointed as Chair of Turkish-Islamic Literature. In 1982, he became a Professor in the Faculty of Theology of Ankara University. He supervised a large number of PhD students and was a prominent figure in the growth of the Faculty within the University.

Professor Cosan retired from academia to spend more time for community activities and in quest for bettering humanity in 1987. He founded a number of non-profit organisations and associations and organised community activities during his retirement. Professor Cosan selected Australia as his new home in 1997 when he was subjected to undeserved treatment in Turkey. Yet, he continued to maintain a close bond with Turkey and the Turkish people, proudly representing his country of birth in the international arena.

Professor Cosan continued his visionary humanitarian work in Australia. On, February 2, 2001, Professor Cosan, left Brisbane to travel to the town of Griffith to launch the opening of a community project. While in the outskirts of Dubbo, New South Wales, he was involved in a traffic collision on February 4, 2001. He and his son-in-law, Professor Dr. Ali Yucel Uyarel, passed away.

Professor Cosan’s unexpected departure from this world wounded everyone that he inspired. His funeral was held in Turkey and attended by hundreds of thousans of people in Istanbul. Professor Cosan was academically fluent in five languages and was 63 years old when he passed away.

ACHIEVEMENTS AT A GLANCE

• Publication of over 38 scientific books;
• Publication of a large number of scientific academic articles;
• Founder of the Science, Culture, and Art Foundation;
• Founder of the Health Foundation;
• Founder of the True Path Education, Friendship, and Relief Foundation;
• Founder of Vefa Publishing;
• Founder of AKRA Radio Station;
• Initiated the establishment of AK Television Broadcasting Channel; and
• Pioneer of many different private hospitals, schools and academies in Turkey, Australia and in different parts of the world.

PROFESSOR DR. COSAN’S CHARACTER

Professor Cosan was an intellect, scholar, philosopher, theologian, public figure, and a leader of justice. He was like a sea of acquired knowledge and believed that education, faith, justice and equity were fundamental basics of life. He never turned a blind eye to injustice and argued that the best act of worship was serving people and engaging in acts that were for the better of humanity.

While a staff member at the Faculty of Theology at Ankara University, he earned the love, respect and compassion of his students, fellow academics and the overall community. He was humble and permitted others in his presence, no matter what their social status and occupation, an opportunity to highlight their concerns and stress their issues or ideas. He helped all those who encountered him.

With his pleasant smile, likeable figure and gentle speech, Professor Cosan spoke in a manner that was kind and thoughtful. He explained an issue from spiritual, cultural, theoretical and economical perspectives, yet allowing to be easily understood by everyone around him.

PROFESSOR DR. COSAN’S VALUES

“We need to search for ways to be beneficial. Can we build a water fountain? Can we build a bridge? Can we prevent mud and dirt? Can we serve food to the hungry? Can we help the sick and fragile? Can we help the orphan and the needy? We need to look around us and search like a projector ”

Working scientifically
According to Professor Cosan, social services, projects and assignments needed to be carried out by dedicated and competent people in a manner consistent with science, faith, passion and discipline. Greatest achievement could only be made via means of scientific knowledge and reasoning. The greatest investment was to science and this was necessary in order for programs and projects to be effective.

Working proactively
‘I have a world map that covers the entire wall of my office. It is three times my height. However, whenever I look at maps, I feel saddened. I want to put away this map and replace it with a map of the universe ’.
Professor Cosan encouraged those around him to be always proactive. It was not appropriate for a person to turn a blind eye to issues facing the community by simply sitting in a corner and observing his surroundings. A person needed to become an active member of the community. It was essential to focus on the causes of the problem facing the community to ensure that sustainable solutions were achieved.

Caring for the environment
Professor Cosan’s understanding of service and projects was not limited to humans. He strongly believed in the protection of the environment and conservation of all creatures on earth. Acknowledging the scarcity of environmental resources, he outlined, ‘we do not want to destroy our environment, and we do not even want to destroy goods and furniture… We do not want to break a branch of a tree. Our heart aches when a tree is damaged ’. As part his concern for the environment and love of wildlife, Professor Cosan founded a number of environmental protection organisations in Turkey and personally organised and implemented a number of projects such as reforestation.

Planning and preparation
Professor Cosan believed that effective service and project implementation (helping the community) required planning and preparation. A program or service developed or implemented by a single person could not be considered effective. Effective service delivery and implementation was a result of being organised and prepared. Professor Cosan was a strong believer of team work, collaboration and coordination between people who combined their personal energies and skills.

PROFESSOR DR. COSAN AND AUSTRALIA

“In my opinion, Australia and other Asian countries are as important for us believers and the Turkish people as America and Europe. Increasing our cultural and economic attention and connections with this region will bring us many benefits… We should never neglect this new region of the world”

Professor Cosan travelled extensively in and outside Turkey and was invited to many parts of the world to participate in conferences and seminars. In 1984, he made his first visit to Australia as a guest speaker at an academic conference. He attended many more educational conferences in Australia as guest and honorary speaker for the next 13 years, which allowed him to develop a special bond with Australia and the Australian people. This bond was a strong motivation in Professor Cosan’s selection of Australia as his new home in 1997.

Australia was a new chapter in Professor Cosan’s life. He took a proactive attitude and personally visited every corner of Australia upon settling in Brisbane, Queensland. He was amazed by Australia’s unique environment, often writing about its native plants, animals and birds in his books and articles. ‘I am writing to you from Australia, the land of the kangaroos who carry their young in their pouch ’ he referred to Australia when addressing his international audience. Professor Cosan acted as a goodwill ambassador, promoting Australia to his followers and students around the world.

Helping Australians
Professor Cosan spread his guidance and humanity work throughout Australia. With his leadership, supervision and dedication, many non-profit organisations and scientific educational centres were established throughout the continent. They supported and empowered people of all race and colour, positively contributing to the Australian community. For example, Professor Cosan founded the Kotku Education and Welfare Society in Brisbane, which helped reduce poverty. Working with the wider community and the local communities in Coburg in Melbourne and Auburn in Sydney, Kotku Education and Welfare Society endeavoured to overcome disadvantage by promoting solutions through research, consultation and education. The society was also a strong voice for the Australian environment. A number of environmental protection and sustainability projects were implemented to struggle against waste, pollution and the loss of Australian biodiversity. In addition, other non-profit organisations were founded by Professor Cosan, all of which provided a range of programs to assist Australians improve their physical, social, psychological and spiritual health and wellbeing.

Promoting Australia
Professor Cosan was a strong advocate for Australian multiculturalism. He spoke favourably of Australia’s cultural and ethnic diversity and the encouragement of minority populations to express their cultural and religious identity. He believed that other developing nations could gain significant knowledge from Australian society’s acceptance of cultural diversity.

Professor Cosan also spoke passionately about Australia’s strong stance on environmental issues facing our society. In writing about Australia’s protection of the environment, Professor Cosan wrote: Australia’s government officials give great importance to the protection of the nature and strongly oppose the use of nuclear energy. The air is very clean, the cities are spread out to wide terrains, houses have large gardens, the streets are spacious, and urban areas are green.

Strengthening relations with Australia
Professor Cosan’s efforts to strengthen the relationship between the two countries opened a doorway of cultural, financial and social exchange between Australia and Turkey. He proactively encouraged Turkish businessmen, politicians and academics to form ties with Australia and invest time and energy into further developing this nation. As one of his former university student outlines, he performed a ‘goodwill ambassador’ role between Australia and Turkey, often encouraging his students, whom some had become key government officials to establish productive working relations with Australia. A number of his students, including prime ministers, made formal visits to Australia helping to facilitate economic cooperation with Turkey as a result of his directives. Productive working relations with key government and non-government officials in Turkey and Australia were established, that continue to economically and socially grow to this day.

Promoting Australian higher education
Professor Cosan was a dedicated advocate of Australia’s tertiary institutions. He encouraged Turkish students to select Australia for their academic endeavours. He reminded his followers in Turkey, Australian university sector’s commitment to diversity and their efforts to strengthen the inclusion of diverse religious and ethnic groups. Many students selected Australia as their preferred education destination over other countries as a result of his direct encouragement. Many continue to maintain personal and professional links with Australia and the Australian people.

Professor Cosan also maintained an active interest in the academic pursuits of the Australian youth. He constantly guided and mentored them through tertiary education, empowering them to reach their potential. In addition, Professor Cosan mentored young Australians to help them in their challenging years. He helped them to prepare themselves by developing their self-esteem, faith, knowledge and skills.