Second Meeting

Second Project Meeting in Kayseri, Turkey

The second project meeting with all partners took place in Kayseri, Turkey from 26th till 28th of March. One important point of this meeting has been the exchange of the project work so far. Video-clips, drawings, essays and presentations on important cultural objects of each partner country have been presented to each other.

Another mayor point of the meeting of course has been the presentation of various elements of the Turkish culture to the guests. The staff of Yahya Kemal Beyatli Ilkogretim Okulu from Kayseri has made a huge effort to show the best their culture offers.

The first day of the meeting started in school. The teaching stuff as well as the students waited curiously for the European guests. Headmaster Muhittin Findikci and his staff welcomed everyone cordially. After visiting the school building the group of teachers followed the invitation of the director of education of the city of Kayseri, Mustafa Dikmen. While having some Turkish tea he was very interested in the various school systems of the Comenius partners.

After having a great lunch, prepared by parents and students where everyone ate more than one could, a big surprise awaited the guests. The Turkish hosts had transformed a whole room into an exhibition for everything the Turkish culture has to offer. Various traditions and customs have been shown by the students. Turning dervishes, role-plays on ancient myths and legends in really nice costumes and the art of marbling are just a glimpse of what the Turkish students and their teachers had prepared. Having an original Turkish coffee in a true to original traditional lounge the partners could listen to a stunning concert with typical Turkish instruments played by the students. But none of the guest could keep still for long. Animated by students almost everyone started to dance folk dances and soon the whole Comenius-team formed a dancing crowd. It has been an impressive, beautiful and informative afternoon.

Another highlight has been the trip to Cappadocia the next day. Teachers as well as students have been fascinated by the unique tuff stone formations, being appointed a world cultural heritage. Especially the cave-architecture and the subsurface cities were considered to be highly impressive. Nature offered such a great setting that most people pushed the limits of the storage capacity of their cameras. The day also offered a formidable lunch which the group could join in a cave-restaurant. The evening then was dominated by Turkish traditions and folkloristic performances on a dinner-show.

Day three of the meeting started with project-work in school. Tasks have been shared and the next meeting in Czech Republic has been arranged.

After that a more than overwhelming reception was held on the schoolyard. The yard already was crowded with students and their parents. Even guests of political relevance like the already mentioned director of education and the mayor of Kayseri, Mehmet Özhaseki, have been there. Acclaimed by the crowd the Comenius guests could take a seat in the front row. Everyone felt almost like a famous celebrity. On the occasion of the “Nevruz” holiday, when people celebrate spring equinox, students presented lots of traditional dances in alternation with speeches held by students, teachers, guests and politicians. Finally a fire has been lighted in the middle of the yard. By and by more and more students, teachers and of course Comenius partners joined a circle round this fire and so a dancing European circle developed. Lots of newspapers and even the local TV-station gave an announce of this imposing event.

Still overwhelmed by the impressions of the morning the Comenius group went up to mount Erciyes in the afternoon. Being invited by the mayor, some teachers took the opportunity to go skiing while the others had funny races on slides with the students. This competition finally ended in a cross-European snowball fight. Everyone had a great time in the snow and it was an amusing afternoon.

The last dinner of the meeting then took place in a big restaurant in Kayseri where all guests again could enjoy countless delicious Turkish specialties.

Being touched by such a great hospitality and warmth tears had been preprogrammed when saying goodbye the next morning. The parting words of the Turkish hosts then really moved everyone:” You now have a home here in Kayseri you can come back to whenever you want to!” All partners agreed:” We had wonderful days here in Turkey and we did not feel like tourists but like guests and friends. That was amazing!” The perfect organization of the Turkish Comenius-team made everything “no problem” ;)

içten teşekkürler – Thank you very much indeed!”

(Text: Anika König)

 

 

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