On the night of arrival, after 10 hours of travelling we arrived at the Villa Vanilla hotel, at 2 am. We were shown to our rooms. (I don’t think my new room mates where too happy having to open the door at 2 am. (4 am Irish time)…So I was practically brain dead. After breakfast, a bus drove us to the school where we spent the bulk of the next week. The Koç School is a high end boarding school whose facilities put Irish schools to shame. On the first day we were put into our committees, and team building began. (A way for groups to gel together, as well as get to know each other.) We then had lunch. The food in the cafeteria was always nice, and never too exotic for my bland Irish tongue)
building commenced again, After a long day of games, we had dinner. After that there was Euro Village. This was where each country set up a stand showcasing the best that each country has to offer. I have included a picture of this below. The next day we had the opening ceremony. This was when EYP officially opened. There was a talk by the President of Turkish affairs between Turkey and the EU, who spoke about the progress Turkey is making in becoming a member of the EU. After this, committee work began. This is where the serious stuff started. We had two days to come up with a resolution of our topic. Committee work was intense, hard and at some times frustrating but when we came out with a high quality resolution it was worth it. Our topic was on the EU ETS (European Union Trading Emission Scheme) and how to solve it’s flaws. That evening we were brought out to dinner, and shopping.
The next day was the same, and the routine was becoming apparent and we finished off our resolution. That night EYP Café was held. This was a party, only Turkish style. It was held in the school, in the main hall, and there was traditional Turkish food, costumes and music. It was a very interesting experience. The second last day was a good one. We were brought to Umraniye, a coastal city. We were lucky enough to be brought on a tour of the city on a boat. It was beautiful. After the city tour, we were brought back to the school for GA prep (General Assembly). That night was Euro concert where all EYP participants performed. A traditional Turkish dance was performed, which I found was very similar to Irish dancing.
The next day was the final day, the biggie; General Assembly. This was the day that all committees presented their resolutions to the rest of EYP, and debated them. It was a long, tough day; debating approximately 12 hours. My committee was very pleased with how we did and our resolution was passed.That evening to celebrate, we were brought to a nightclub in Istanbul; which was very exciting. The celebration went on for the whole night, which made the next day of travelling home all the more painful. Overall, the experience was a fantastic one; I would thoroughly encourage any 4th year students to enter. My EYP journey is not over, as I am heading to another session in Thessaly, Greece in August.
I would also like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank the following for their support: David Stanton TD, Liz Maddocks, Castlemartryr Enterprise Group, Colin Burke Fine Gael, Fergal Quinn Senator, Julian Van Turnhout Senator, Paul Murphy MEP, Ahern’s Centra, Castlemartyr,The Kilkenny Shop, Shanagarry, Erin Gift Store, The Green Note and Quills, Cork city.