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Turkish dinner party at Refter

Turkish dinner party at Refter

Photographer:Fotograaf: Archief Observant

“My student days were the best days of my life. I hope they will be for you too.” These were the warm words from the Turkish consul, Esen Altuğ, at the opening of the Turkish dinner party on Tuesday night at the Refter (Minderbroedersberg). Turkish students and staff members were invited to get to know each other and enjoy some food from their home country. The party was an initiative of Executive Board president Jo Ritzen, who welcomed everybody in Turkish. “Last year, he hosted it at his own house. He’s very involved”, says Karin van der Ven, member of the Turkish country team. She isn’t sure how many Turkish students there are at Maastricht University. “It’s hard to tell because a lot of them also have German, Belgium or Dutch citizenship. I think there are twelve students who have come directly from Turkey as exchange students.”

Two of them are Selin Kartaloglu and Sedef Tahasatal. Both girls are studying economics and arrived two weeks ago in Maastricht. “We’re staying for five months”, says Tahasatal. “We hope to see a lot of the Netherlands and, when we have time, a bit of Europe.” “Our first reason to come to Maastricht was that everybody can speak English”, Kartaloglu laughs. “But I also hope to learn about Dutch culture.” Later that night they will go to café C’est la Vie, where a Turkish evening is being hosted. “It’s the third time this academic year that we’ve organised something like this”, says Yusuf Albayrak, who has just finished his psychology programme. “It has a similar goal as the dinner party; to give people a chance to meet in an informal setting. There will be Turkish music and performances.”

Aydin Basoluk, a first-year student of economics, will definitely be there. “It will be fun.” He has been in the Netherlands for four years. “We moved because of my dad’s job. He works at NATO. I do miss Turkey, but I haven’t decided if I’m going back after I finished my studies.” For now, he is enjoying being in the Netherlands. “I’m going to celebrate Carnival next week. I haven’t got an outfit yet, but last year I was dressed up as Cartman from South Park.”

 

Cleo Freriks

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