Local of the Month January: AEGEE-Eskişehir

This month the spotlights are on a very active AEGEE-local: AEGEE-Eskişehir. This antenna was founded on a stable base at Autumn Agora Ankara in 2001. From that moment on a long list of memorable moments, among which the organisation of the Autumn Agora Eskişehir in 2007, contributed to their latest achievement: their election as Local of the Month.

Tina Kukhianidze (Network Commission):AEGEE-Eskişehir has been very active already for quite a long time, and in December they organized a Regional Training Course (RTC) for Turkish speaking locals. The programme was amazing, they had a fair presenting European Level projects and Working Groups, and they hosted up to 60 people! Now I can see that a lot those people are becoming active in their boards.  AEGEE-Eskişehir is contributing a lot to the overall wellness of the Turkish speaking locals.” 

Besides that they are sending 25 members to EBM Valletta, their mascot is taking part in the AEGEEan’s Choice Awards and their Summer University ended in fourth place last year.The AEGEEan asked the board members of AEGEE-Eskişehir, Ruşan Can Akal (President), Burak Topaloğlu (Vice President and PR), Ebru Ergüden (Secretary General), Berna Ömür (Treasurer) and İlknur Candemir (External Relations Director), about the plans for their local.

The AEGEEan: Can you tell us about the future plans of AEGEE-Eskişehir?

Board: One of our biggest occupations right now is our annual project called Empathy Days, which we will be organizing for the fourth time this year, and we are planning on organizing it together with another local and making it a European Level project. In this context we have applied to organize a session about the Empathy Days in this upcoming EBM Valetta, which will be a simulation for AEGEE members that haven’t had the possibility to experience this yet. Besides that we are planning to organize an exchange with a local from another cultural background.

At the moment AEGEE-Eskişehir has five Working Groups (WGs) and one Summer University Project on the local level. Can you tell us something about the working procedures and aims of your WGs?

Of course, this point is very crucial for vitality of our antenna because it always keeps our members motivated and working in order to improve the quality of our work and projects. Here we go;

Active Citizenship WG: The main aim of this WG is to put our local projects on a european level, such as the Empathy Days. They are also planning to organize conferences about racism and women rights, and they are working on an interesting event which will be a free Summer Cinema for old people.

Nature Sports and Environmental WG: This WG is working on two sides but the main characteristic of it is to unite these two topics. They are planning to give workshops about Environmental issues to students from Primary School in order to increase their awareness, and they are planning to organize trekking trips, a camp, a bicycle tour around the city and making a logo of AEGEE Eskişehir out of recycled material.

Cultural Interaction WG: They are working on Cultural Exchange and making presentations each week about a country, where they listen to the music, taste the food and invite an Erasmus student from the concerning country. Also they want to organize speaking clubs so that people can practice English.

International Politics WG: They worked on a disscussion platform where all the different ideas are respected. In the first term, they made presentations about Turkey-EU Relations and they made a survey about “how much do we know about the EU?”. Additionally, they had a brief presentation about Turkey’s EU Process and the current situation, disscussion about the current foreign affairs of Turkey with neighbour countries and a presentation about the Cyprus Topic. They are also planning on organizing a conference with a master journalist about the EU and a workshop at Agora Rhein-Neckar.

Cinema and Photography WG: They make a survey every week about which movie we should watch at the meeting. In respect to those movies, they are planning to give workshops and trainings about photography, movie montage and more.

AEGEE-Eskişehir’s ambassadors on the European Level
Besides all this local activity, AEGEE-Eskişehir has quite some members who are active on the European Level and do their best to represent their local in the best way possible.

Burak Topaloğlu (Visa Freedom WG Speaker): “First of all, I have been a member of AEGEE-Eskisehir since 2010. When I joined, not much people were active on the European Level, however they were very enthusiastic and eager to work. I gained a lot of knowledge about the European Level at our LTC. The Visa Freedon Working Group got my serious attention, because I had never been abroad and I knew that that was made almost impossible by the Visa-problems. When I got to know the people from VFWG, who were fighting for Visa freedom, I realized that AEGEE was caring about my problems too, which made me glad to be an AEGEEan, and I decided to join them. First I became HR responsible and later speaker. I feel that the people of AEGEE-Eskişehir appreciate my work, and that makes me proud.”

Deniz Özhan (Subcommie): “Despite the fact that I unfortunately live quite far from my local, I have been closely following everything they do. With a perfect combination of an active, enthusiastic board and lively, dedicated members, AEGEE-Eskişehir has been a good example for how to organize successful events. I am really proud to have them as the local of the month and I hope they will be a good example for other locals.”

Engin Ergezer (Subcommie): “AEGEE-Eskisehir has changed my life. It has started to lead my life since 2009, when I joined the antenna. I have served my local as president, vice-president and secretary, and those experiences have led me to join the European Level and represent AEGEE there as a subcommie, which I am very proud of.”

AEGEE-Eskisehir is still looking for an exchange partner; if you are interested please contact them at info@aegee-eskisehir.org.

Written by Erman Berkay, AEGEE-Mağusa and Marije Arentze, AEGEE-Leiden