I can understand and respect some views from our Turkish friends now, I found really strange before. And I have the impression that this is a mutual understanding and respect.
When I first read the E-mail about the idea of an exchange between Marmara University in Istanbul and University of Konstanz and the call or invitation to develop the idea and to realize it, I truly asked myself “how naive can a person be, that a project of this size can start with just an idea, without a team, without a single scratch of a finance plan or anything else?” I guess, I just smiled and believed never to hear about that thing anymore. Well, it turned out to work in an incredible awesome manner!
I got convinced to take part a long time later, but still I could contribute to two workshops. The reason, why I changed my first stand on the project was this incredible (maybe still naive) optimism by the core team. They made me believe, that this can happen and so I joined in. To be fair, I never found it a bad idea, just a number too big for students who are involved in various existing projects.
Besides the numerous lovely interpersonal contacts I had, the thing that really lasts for me is the feeling of respect for each other – with all similarities and differences we have. We do have a lot in common but relying on these things is not that difficult. It is much harder to accept and respect views and opinions of others, that differ from the own ones, and that’s exactly what IstKon achieved: I can understand and respect some views from our Turkish friends now, I found really strange before. And I have the impression that this is a mutual understanding and respect. No matter how much articles I read or videos I watched about Turkey, this could only happen through personal contact in such a open and relaxed environment.