#PurpleRoute-Ankara Local Stop

After a long journey that started in Nis at 4 am, with stops in Sofia and then in Istanbul, we finally arrived in Ankara. To welcome us there were three AEGEEans, who with great warmth took us to what was gonna be our home for the following three days. We had time to relax and to get to know each other, despite some communication difficulties. 

We went out for Salep, a traditional drink. From the first sip, we were already sure that it won’t be the last time we will drink it during our stay in Turkey.

The following day started with a typical Mediterranean breakfast, that made us ready to start the day. The weather was beautiful, it finally feels like summer.

We visited the Ataturk mausoleum, a great example of architecture and beauty that left us speechless. Thanks to the locals we had the opportunity to learn a little about the history of Turkey, especially during the time of Ataturk’s presidency, his leadership during the Turkish War of Independence and his foundation of the Republic of Turkey. We realised the tremendous importance that his figure had in the collective imagination of the Turkish population and also the women’s rights that were established in the first constitution.

After strolling through the museum it was time for lunch. Therefore we went to the university campus and were amazed by the size and beauty of it – it is a whole quarter of the city with a huge forest within it. In the canteen there were many delicacies to welcome us, so we were indecisive on what to choose. We take advantage of the beautiful day to have lunch outdoors.

After lunch we delivered the first workshop on Gender based violence in the digital world. Even if it did not attract a large number of participants, it turned out to be a deep intimate conversation on various themes of the presentation. The few participants contributed with their ideas, opinions, observations and questions, enriching even more the contents of the workshop, which lasted far more than expected. For us it was an excellent opportunity to gather new information and ideas on various sub topics of gender based violence.

After the workshop we had the opportunity to explore the campus and enjoy the sun in the stadium of the campus. Once again we were fascinated by the environment and its maintenance.

On the third day in Ankara the temperatures were even higher. We left the apartment early to head once more to the university campus. We took advantage of the free morning to work on our personal projects or just to get some rest from the past travels. After another rich lunch in the university cafeteria we held the second workshop about the Istanbul Convention. It was immediately flooded with comments and observations from the participants who demonstrated a vast knowledge of the treaty and the situation in Turkey. Since Turkey was the first country to sign the treaty, but also the first and only one to withdraw in 2019, our participants could share a lot on their own experience and how the problem of violence against women and domestic violence is tackled.

In general, the experience of Ankara proved to be particularly formative for us ambassadors, having enriched ourselves with information and ideas to be able to share with the participants of the remaining workshops to be held in the country.

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