1) Tell us a little bit about the history of your local.
AEGEE-Eskisehir joined the AEGEE network during the 2001 AGORA-Ankara and has a long tradition of organizing events that are open to all AEGEE-members. For example, in 2002 we organized Balkans Regional Meeting. In 2005 we organized our second biggest event called “What is Europe,” an event on what Europe exactly entails and the role of Turkey during the membership dialogue between Turkey and EU. Furthermore, from 2007 to 2010 AEGEE-Eskişehir uninterruptedly organized Information Technology Schools for AEGEE-Eskisehir members. In 2007 close to 1000 Europeans participated in the Agora that took place in our city. Finally, in 2008 and 2009 we organized the largest thematic events in our history so far; our ‘Disabled People Project Team’ organized the ‘Empathy Days’ – after four years of local success the ‘Empathy days’ were included in the 2013 European Boards Meeting in Valletta. In addition, we organized Summer Universities, hosted Network Meetings, and are having weekly meetings on every Wednesday with a focus on thematic topics. The weekly meeting is organized under a democratic system in which every member (no matter his function or previously hold functions) has the same amount of speaking time.
2) AEGEE-Eskişehir is the Local of the Month". How does this feel?
It feels good to be the antenna of the month. We worked very hard this year and we all had to make a lot of sacrifices as board members. Also our members worked hard. And, I think this is a boost for everyone in the organization.
3) How many members does AEGEE-Eskişehir have right now, and how many are active?
We have over 150 members and approximately 60 of them are active right now. Our weekly meetings usually include 40 to 50 people.
4) One of the reasons for your election as Local of the Month was the organization of the Night of the Seven Antennae. How did the idea to organize it come about?
As board members of AEGEE-Eskisehir, our first aim was to make our local more active and well known in Europe. Thanks to Evrim (one of the board members) and her contacts in AEGEE-Europe we heard and learned about the project. ‘N7A’ was an event unique too all AEGEE members and it was the best option for us to achieve our aim of spreading our reputation. We wanted to part of this piece of history. That is why we decided to be a part of this splendid event. We were lucky because the whole Eskisehir family came together and worked hard, we had an amazing organization team. And, of course, we should be thankful for the Anniversary Team to give us this chance too.
5) What was the best thing about organizing the event?
The best thing was that everything we wanted to organized came into reality as we wanted it. We didn’t really had any big problems during the organization of this event. And that makes an event always, especially if you’re part of the organizing team, much more fun. We also got a lot of positive reactions about the connection to the rest of Europe within this event. I think that is what made this event so memorable.
6) What are the next plans of your local?
Actually, we were a candidate for the Agora in Oviedo. We weren’t chosen, but of course this wasn’t the only event we planning on. We have a thematic project ‘Feel Europe’ which aims to take prejudges about Europe and Europeans away from Turkish youth. The project has two steps. At the beginning, the content will be prepared for university students and people who are living in Eskişehir. Then, we intend to spread all those reflections, all around our country. Furthermore, we are organizing a summer university again this year. The name of this year’s Summer University is ‘The Unexpected Green Journey TSU’. We will welcome our participant with the natural beauties of Anatolia. It will happen between 2 and 16 July and there is still chance to apply because we ask AEGEEians to make it real with Open Calls. Also, we are having contact with AEGEE-Lviv about an upcomming Exchange Project.
7) How do you imagine your antenna in a year?
We like to imagine ourselves as a local that is very strong on thematic topics and projects. And at the moment we are working hard, and are close too, achieving that goal. Also, on a both the European and the local level we like to see an increase in active members.