AEGEE-Ankara is ready to host the autumn Agora 2020. The local in the capital of Turkey is one of three candidates, next to AEGEE-Magusa and AEGEE-Moskva. AEGEE-Ankara already hosted two great Agoras in 1997 and 2001. The third Agora would coincide with the 25th anniversary of the antenna – and it would also be in the year of AEGEE’s 35th birthday: “We will turn this Agora a spectacular birthday party for the AEGEE network”, said the organisers to the Golden Times.

Golden Times: Your antenna applied for hosting autumn Agora 2020. What is your motivation? Is it just the 25th anniversary or more?
AEGEE-Ankara: Our decision to host the agora goes back to 2015. We waited for great conditions both internally and externally. We have been working for the Agora for more than a year, we tried to make most of the things ready before our application. So, we are sure that we are ready.  Our 25th year is just a great coincidence with our application. We will turn this Agora a spectacular birthday party for the AEGEE network.

AEGEE-Ankara hosted its first Agora in 1997, when the local was two years old.

GT: You already applied to host the spring Agora 2019, but AEGEE-Bucuresti was selected after several open calls. This didn’t frustrate you or stop you from trying again?
AEGEE-Ankara: Of course it didn’t. We respect CD decisions. After a couple of extensions on open call, we realized that we were not going to host the agora and we were just waiting for nothing. We could withdraw our application but for the AEGEE network, we didn’t. Because if AEGEE-Bucuresti wouldn’t have applied and our application had been withdrawn, there wasn’t going to be an Agora at all. During the extensions we decided to go for a second time, but with an ever stronger application this time.

The plenary location for 2020.

GT: For your new hosting application you even made a nice video. Did you also put so much effort in the application? What would make an Agora in Ankara special?
AEGEE-Ankara: We have been working on the Agora for more than a year, of course, we worked really hard on our application. You can analyze it after the CD publishes it. In our application we are not giving just empty promises on funding or other components, everything is already planned and nothing is left to a chance. If you are asking what would make an Agora in Ankara special, this will: planning. Another thing is the thematic part of the Agora. We are preparing a really big event, with thematic sessions, pre-events, and post-events – a compact Agora.

Oğuzhan Ayhan heads the hosting team.

GT: How many people can you host?
AEGEE-Ankara: Our gyms have a capacity for more than 1000 people. We can go up to 2000.

GT: Who would be the main coordinator? And how many people would be in the organising team?
AEGEE-Ankara: Our main coordinator will be Oğuzhan Ayhan. He was the president of our local in the past two years and he is the former member of Audit Commission of AEGEE-Europe. Our core team consists of 14 people. The main coordination team will consist of 30 people. With helpers, we will reach at least 100 people.

GT: What can you tell us about the quality of the locations for lodging, plenary and workshops? Will the locations be far from each other?
AEGEE-Ankara: In our main plan, the distance between the lodging and sessions place is five minutes by walking. The quality of the congress center and gym are at its best.

The gym – plenty of space for participants!

GT: AEGEE-Istanbul faced big logistical challenges when they organised their Agora. What makes you sure that this won’t happen in Ankara, taking into account that Turkey is in an economic crisis?
AEGEE-Ankara: First of all, we are different locals. Our structures are different, our opportunities are different, our focus is different. We don’t see any logic in comparing these two locals. We know that AEGEE-İstanbul tried their best according to their opportunities and gave their best on the Agora as all the AEGEE locals which hosted a statutory event. Another point is the time has changed. The mayors of the cities are different and there is more support for youth events right now. About the economic crisis, it is about the management of your resources. You can host an event without any fee if you have enough support from your partners. Or you can go into debt in a country which is economically the best in the world. We are ready for any conditions in terms of economic or logistic situations.

GT: What can you tell us about your antenna? How big is it, what are the main events this year?
AEGEE-Ankara: Our antenna has 70 members, 40 of them are active. This year we had a SUPS in February and our Summer University started this week. Also we had conferences, trainings and many events. It was an active and a busy year.

Check also the interview with AEGEE-Magusa about their application.