International meetings | Turkey | 17- 21 January, 2022
On 17th – 21st January, 2022, the third mobility of the Erasmus+ KA229 project “Reawakening the Values depicted in European Society via Literary Work” took place in Ankara, Turkey. Before the start of the international meeting, project teams from Latvia, Spain (remotely), Lithuania and Turkey (hosts of the meeting) read the literature of the country (Ömer Seyfettin, Mevlana Mesnevi). The participants studied the geography, history and culture of that country. Although the SEHIT OMER HALISDEMIR ANADOLU IMAM HATIP LISESI school in Ankara does not allow students to use digital tools during the lessons, during our visit all project implementation activities were designed to use IT platforms (kahoot.it, ahaslides.com, jamboard.com, zoom.com, animoto, nearpod), tools for creating visualization and sound effects.
All the visited cultural sites during the meeting were closely related to the theme of the project and Turkish culture. We visited the Ankara National Library, the mosque in the presidential complex, the international Muhammed Hamidullah vocational – religious school, where we met students from Afghanistan, Burkina Faso and Iran. They left their native home at the age of 15 to look for better future prospects in Turkey. Everyone was greatly impressed by Atatürk’s mausoleum and all the historical heritage of that time and its hero. We visited the Mehmet Akif Ersoy Museum of Turkish Intangible Cultural Heritage, where we got to know the world-famous merchant-artisan town of the past. In Konya, famous for its ancient Islamic teaching center and abundance of mosques, we visited the Mevlana Museum, got acquainted with the cultural heritage of this famous Islamic philosopher, and watched the performance of the Sema (dervishes) – a ritual. In the family restaurant, we listened to the intricacies of the baklava production process and tasted this extremely delicious dessert that makes Turkish cuisine famous.
The variety of activities at the school also encouraged everyone to get to know this land, its literature and, of course, the values it cherishes. The meeting started with a concert program by the hosts, which was full of cultural elements. Turkish language, geography and history lessons were held, which culminated in a reflexive – entertaining Kahoot test. Students and teachers got acquainted with the context of the historical books they read, and with the help of the Nearpod program, they analyzed one of the works they read and the values depicted in it. The “Reading Circle” method was chosen for the analysis of other works we read (the students looked for the main idea, a summary of the work, and interpreted the found values in connection with cultural and personal experience). It was a pleasure to get acquainted with the shadow theater created by Turkish students and to make shadow theater puppets ourselves. Natural components are usually used for their production – animal skin, colors extracted from plants, water, heat and creativity. The piece of shadow theater was decorated with a melody performed by national instruments. The plays performed by the Turkish students from Ömer Seyfettin’s short stories “The Currycomb” and “The Oath” impressed the project participants with their theatricality, suggestiveness, and a beautiful scenography. Drawing on water “Water marbling” technique took us back to our playful childhood. The introduction to the production of the traditional “Çiğ Köfte” dish provoked a lot of emotions. Tasting this dish was challenging for some participants, especially those who don’t like spicy food. The Turkish headteacher was watching us closely if we could dare to taste it. Most of us tried. It was fun. We ended the third meeting of the project with an interactive game “How well do you know Turkey” based on the global TV project “Who Wants 500 Billion?” Warm farewell speeches and sharing some cultural things, brought from our countries, ended our impressive journey in Ankara, Turkey with warm-hearted hosts.