Academic Day 3 – Populism and Art Night

by Serra Morgil

Although everyone knew that with the last academic day IstKon would also be over soon everybody was still very energetic, curious and very willing to debate about populism during the last academic day. The day started with the presentation of Dr. Nihan Toprakkiran, a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Chair of International Relations and Conflict Management at the University of Konstanz. She analysed support of immigrants to populist parties back home by comparing the Turkish, Polish and Italian communities in Germany. She evaluated the reasons behind the support of immigrants to populist parties in their countries of origin. After the presentation, students asked their questions regarding the presentation as well as Toprakkiran’s own ideas.

After a coffee break, a very creative and exciting simulation “Parallel Fantasy Countries” started. All participants were divided into 6 groups as they represented the political parties- each 2 main political parties represent one imaginary country. With the published topic guide, people were already well-prepared about the history and current situation of the fictitious countries. Each party group prepared their speeches about their policies, election campaigns and against a possible question from counter-party and they chose their leader to make the election speech. The very professional and enthusiastic leaders gave their ultimate speeches and the people, citizens in the simulation, were really impressed by these very realistic politicians and they applauded and roared in delight for the leader they support. Thereafter, we went to the ballot box for each country and voted for the party we supported. The academic team even included some questionable voting sheets to make the elections as real as possible – but no one even noticed. At the same time, the team was very carefully and admonished people testing to vote twice. Then, results were announced, and the winners were awarded chocolate. At lunch, we celebrated the end of the last academic day by eating lots of self-cooked pasta.

In the afternoon at 4 pm, we met in front of Konstanz Munster. We visited the munster, which impressed everyone with its fascinating appearance and history. Throughout the trip, the guide accompanied us, many times she showed us different chambers of the munster, which were hardly known. Afterwards, we got to the tower of the munster with its spectacular and stunning view of Konstanz city and lake. Hidden gardens, rooftop terraces and the narrow streets can be spotted from above. Everyone seemed so impressed as most of the people could not keep their eyes off the landscape and leave their cameras from their hands.

View from the Münster

Isn’t one of the best ways to understand a culture is to look at its art and music? The culture team also thought the same, and they organized the Art Night which enabled us to observe more cultural patterns of both amazing cities. The Art Night was composed of several things like a photography exhibition, live music, and lots of chatting. The photos taken by IstKon members displaying their own cultures captivated everyone. You could see people trying to guess the places portrayed in the photos and telling each other their wishes to travel to those places. In accordance with the spirit of the Art Night, bread and cheese were served with white, rose and red wine. People sat down on the floor in a relaxed way and were enchanted by the pleasant voice of Banu, accompanied by Ataberk’s guitar and the clarinet of Gökalp. Particularly in Turkish songs, the voices of the Turks rose and they sang in a united manner.


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