Bonn – Istanbul – Ankara – Bonn

“Am I eligible to participate in a congress?”, was my first E-mail to the organizers in October last year whether I could participate in the congress. It was a ‘Call of Papers’ for undergraduate students to submit their research work under the congress title, “Youth, Media and their Future” at Maltepe University in Istanbul from 27-29 March, 2013.

I received a reply to submit my abstract. After couple of days, got to know that it was only for undergraduate students who could submit their work. Ah! I had to accept it with no choice. Then months later in the February this year, the organizers had a swift change in their organization and now it was the open call for graduate students as well. So, as I was already writing my term paper and in the final phase of the paper, thought of sending my abstract. Luckily, it got accepted and I was offered a place as presenter in the congress.

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On March 27, 2013, I flown to Istanbul from Düsseldorf Airport. I reached to the airport in the evening. It took me around couple of hours to complete all the immigration formalities and rushed outside the airport because the staff members were waiting for me. The weather was so cool, bit rainy, reached to Marma Congress Center in approx. 30-minute drive. There I met with the speakers and the organizing staff. I had a nice Turkish dinner followed by a watch to nice traditional Turkish movie in the mini-cinema hall inside the congress center.

The next day was full of presentations, the conference hall was full of students and guests. The Vice-President of the University gave welcome speeh followed by the introductory presentation by Asst. Prof. Dr. Salvatore Scifo. I anxiously waited for my turn. And them, at last, at 4 p.m. I appeard on dice and started my presentation with some Turkish words. It was a great moment I enjoyed much. The hall filled with sound of clapping, whistling, and it was an interesting situation. The title of my presentation was “Social Media as Tool for Journalists and Ethics of Journalism”. After the speech I had a nice Q&A session I tried my best to deal with the questions.

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The next day was scheduled for an excursion trip. We all gathered after the breakfast and started our journey from the Asian side of Istanbul to the European side. The guys had fun in the bus by singing and dancing on Turkish songs. We went straight ahead to the city centre. We were split into three different groups.

The first one went to the Grand Bazaar StreeIt was Friday, second went to the famous Istiklal square and the third we, in which I was in the group, preferred to stay at Sultanahmet (Blue mosque), where we did perform the Friday (Jumma) prayer and then sat on the benches outside the mosque to have some sun bath. After couple of hours we then gathered and went straight to the nearby restaurant to grab our lunch. We did enjoy the famous dish, “Köfte” and then started going back to our accommodation place. At night, we had a ‘gala dinner’. It was so fun there. I will keep those beautiful memories in my memoir in the days to come. We danced, sang, did karaoke, all in all, was a complete fun night.

March 29, was the final day for many of us to go back to our home. I took maximum benefit of that tour, thought of better visiting Anakara to see my frie ds. In the of 30th March, I started 6-hour long bus journey for Ankara. It was one of the best bus tours I had in my life. I was amazed by the facilities provided by the Ulusoy transport company with Wi-fi connectivity, 12 TV channel, and last but not the least, a hot traditional Turkish ‘Chaey’. I will simply say, super!

I stayed in Ankara for couple of days, visited different touristic attractions. I had a chance to visit Turkish Radio Television Corporation headquarters and met with senior officials from Voice of Turkey Radio. It was my third visit to Turkey. I must appreciate the nice hospitality given by my Turkish hosts. It will remain in my memoirs in the the years to come.