Sanja and Ljubica in Mersin

Two young ladies, members of the Media Education Centre, Sanja Nikolic and Ljubica Lukic went to the Workshop in Mersin, Turkey. This is their Turkish diary:

Day 1: Journey>> Just hold to the left

Getting up at 5am. Reaching the Nikola Tesla Airport via public transportation and getting on board. “Look, we have airplane earphones, yeeyy!!! But where are they supposed to be plugged in??…” After a half hour wondering, we spotted the plug-in spot on the seat of our neighbor passenger. Giggling. Be sure to let the airport employers know you come from Serbia (or Yugoslavia) and they will politely guide you, in clear English-Serbian mixture, to the “domaciterminali”. First great impression, after feeling a bit lost in a huge Istanbul airport>> “to the left, just go to the left” was the right conclusion after going to the right turned up to be wrong every time. Even in Adana, where the sun mixed with rain was already waiting for us. And of course, FINALLY J, in Mersin also turned up to be wrong to head to the right. But after reaching the seashore and meeting an interesting old man, Kemal beg, in his perfect English, we climbed the Green Tower. HELLO MERSIN!

Day 2: Greetings and meetings J

7am: meeting with the morning sun and the sleepy sandy beach. Expecting the new roommates. 9pm: tennis balls, neckties, crayons, time schedules>> HELLO TEAM! LET THE TRAINING BEGIN! Tomorrow is a new day!

Day 2: Greetings and meetings J

7am: meeting with the morning sun and the sleepy sandy beach. Expecting the new roommates. 9pm: tennis balls, neckties, crayons, time schedules>> HELLO TEAM! LET THE TRAINING BEGIN! Tomorrow is a new day!

Day 3: Building a team

After a quick (early)morning swimming, we’re back to work, getting (more) familiar with the topics and daily schedule. 26 alphabetical offers to Gods of Mersin andwith some energizers and group games, over the NGO market and a “dangerous swamp”, we made it to the team building. Trust. Concentration. Responsibility. Patience. Reflecting. Social evening.

Day 4: Gender studies and violence

From the mere beginning of the day, the team started working seriously on the topic of violence against women. But, first we had to get acquainted to the terms of gender studies. Each group, male and female teams, used their creativity to make representation of the society’s expectations and prejudices about the role of genders. These creations led to the next important topic: violence, violence against women and its consequences. After such an exhausting day and serious topics, there was the intercultural evening as an earned relaxation, and what is the best way to end up a day than with the traditional dances.

Day 6: Trip day

Finally time to go to the spot: visiting I?TAR Kadin Dan??manl? kMerkez? (the Centre for Women), where everyone had a chance to ask everything he/she was interested in about the Centre and its activities. A few hours buy cipro 500mg later, back in the “oven”and straight ahead to the city centre, where the persecution of an exchange office begins. After a few circles, we reached “the holly office” and only afterwards was the time for wondering through the city. BUT, of course there has to be some “but”, the time is up and we move on towards Kis Kalesi and the amazing sea castle. A few-hour group break, and guess where did everyone go! But no, in the end we didn’t swim to the castle, though some of us managed to conquer it!


Body language, expressing emotions via body, without any word. We look at each other and we start to laugh: some of us look really ridiculous with exaggerated facial expressions. So yes, sometimes is very hard to express your emotions, but happiness and sadness, for example, were similarly presented. After the warm up, the real theatre preparations began. Oppressed, oppressors, it wasn’t easy to stay serious all the time, but the theatre of the oppressed, and forum, was successful. Later on, ideas for some future projects were presented and new possible friendships and cooperation.


After getting more acquainted to Youth in Action Programme and preparations of some possible future projects of ours, the evaluation moment came…everyone was going from one part of the room to the other, mingling and chatting joyfully, but some sort of sadness could be felt in the air. “Did you pack your bags? When do you have your flight?” and so on, and so on… Farewell party was our last group activity, a few hours after midnight some people will already be gone. And the best way to say goodbye was oriental dance to which nobody could resist.


By 9am almost half of the group was gone. Only the most “persistent” ones could have been seen at breakfast time. We pack our last things and decide to use a few hours left for a visit around the city accompanied by our wonderful local friend. After some of us got lost among spices and fifty different types of tea (which lasted and lasted and lasted till we found our way out ;)), we have to thank her family for hosting us and for being so nice and kind. We unwillingly leave Mersin behind and head towards the airport. After the greeting surprise on our arrival, now a small disappointment… too bad that at the end of this wonderful trip one of us had to argue at the exchange office for stealing some money (just to be clear: they stole it, not we!). But by the time we saw the confluence of Sava and Danube up from the sky, the “bad thing” is already forgotten.