From The Aegean to The AEGEEan, Our New Contact: Muğla

We have got a new Contact in town; its name is Muğla, in western Turkey near the island of Rhodes. Its board is a well collected group of highly motivated students with the drive to make Muğla into all that it can possibly be. The AEGEEan had a talk with Müge Güner, the founder of Muğla, and got to hear this fantastic story:



Volkan, Merve, and Müge

The AEGEEan: Could you introduce yourself and your contact?

Müge: My name is Müge Güner and I study at Muğla Sıtkı Koçman University. My major is Political Science and International Relations. My nine other friends; Merve, Hüseyin, Volkan, Yunus Emre, Yeliz, Nuriye, Erol, Ömer Faruk and Tufan are in the Faculty of Economics And Administrative Sciences like me, but they study at different departments. One other friend of ours, Eda, studies Nursing.


Merve and I are the oldest members, because, while I was building my team, I wanted younger friends who will have enough time to learn and teach about AEGEE. I mentioned AEGEE first to Merve and she wanted to be a part of it, therefore she quit her association to make more time for AEGEE. Then I invited two of my friends whom I really trust, Yunus Emre and Hüseyin, to be my co-workers and they introduced Tufan, Eda and Ömer to me.


After that, I found Yeliz and Nuriye, I mean I met them on purpose during the career days at the University. They are both working for the Career Community -I noticed them because of the uniform they were wearing- but they were not in the board of directors. This was a good thing for me, because I could make my move to include them into my board. I went to them, we had a small talk about the event, how bad and useless it was for the youngsters who came to the lecture hall to listen to the speakers and how it could be better. Then we exchanged numbers and I invited them to a few social activities, which some of my friends and I organised to make a bond of friendship.



Top: Tufan and Eda; Bottom: Ömer Faruk and Erol

Meanwhile, I met Erol, during an activity which was organised by Youth Center to put youngsters and old people in the senior centre together. We were going to watch a movie and spend time with them, so we went to Youth Center early to make preparations. Erol was the only one among all those people, who was not playing with his phone and I thought I found a potential friend who has not become a Robocop yet.


Volkan was the last person who joined us, because the birdies told me that he was going to take part in a different project and his hands would be full of work. I did not tell him about AEGEE earlier, which was a mistake, because when he finally found out what we were up to, he did not even have a second thought about joining us!


How did you get to know about AEGEE?

I first heard of AEGEE in 2013 when I was in the prep-class. A two-day workshop called Developing Job for Youngsters and Employment was organised at the university, and the founding chairman of AEGEE-Eskişehir, Onur Metin, was one of the trainers. Başak Uslu, another trainer, was also from AEGEE. At that time, I wanted to join AEGEE, but there was no local in Muğla and I did not have enough courage and motivation to found one as a freshman, I guess. Besides, I was one of the board of directors of International Relations and Strategical Researches Community at school and did not have enough time to take another responsibility, but being a part of AEGEE was on my mind since then.


Mugla4Why did you decide to found Muğla?

Last autumn, I decided to leave the school community, because I realised I wanted to do something different. It was not for me anymore so I handed in my resignation. After a while, I decided to found an AEGEE local one night when I was in bed, and then I could not sleep, because of the excitement, so I started to research how I could do it. I texted other locals on Facebook and asked them if they could help me with the process. Taha Korhan Salan from AEGEE-Hatay replied to me first and he was always there for me whenever I needed help with anything. Now he is our twin president.


Have you already hosted events or activities?

We have been announced as a contact in July and have not hosted any events or activities yet, but we have some future plans of course. First of all, we need to learn more about AEGEE and join LTCs, meet other locals and learn from their experiences. Therefore, we will try to learn and promote AEGEE at University this autumn.



Top: Yunus Emre and Hüseyin; Bottom: Yeliz and Nuriye

What makes you, as a contact, unique from any of the other student organisations in Muğla?

Firstly, I can say that I honestly have the most unique team, because they are like my family members rather than a board and we are very proud of being a part of AEGEE. It is a whole new level of vision for us. Some of my board members and I have been in other student organisations and we all preferred AEGEE amongst them, because unfortunately, student organisations are being restricted by school management. They do not have enough opportunities and a space to express themselves freely. And, according to our experiences, there is always a competition between the board of directors which is not a good thing in a place where there must be cooperation and tolerance. We think we have a bigger objective and we are all motivated, young people and ready to do whatever it takes to make at least a small change together, to make the world a better place.


Written by Willem Laurentzen, AEGEE-Nijmegen