The alumni network is growing steadily - and at this year's TEFF Alumni Days in May 2022, after a long time, current and former fellows of the Turkey Europe Future Forum once again had the opportunity to reunite and exchange ideas and news in person. Our alumnus Oliver Rieche reports on the network meeting.

"Three years ago, I couldn't believe when I was selected for the Turkey Europe Future Forum (TEFF) by Stiftung Mercator and TÜSIAD. 10 Turks, 10 Germans, and 10 other Europeans came together to work on Turkey EU relations in Istanbul and Eskişehir. An eventful week, filled with so much learning (I had not been exposed to Turkey much in my life), but also great fun with young leaders from across the continent.

So, it was with the greatest joy to finally be reunited with alumni who had attended this programme over the past 6 years! Once again, I was reminded of how little I knew among a pool of really outstanding young people who are all movers and shakers in their own fields. And yet, as always, people who do not take themselves too seriously and could let loose on the dancefloor at the same time.

We discussed visa liberalisation, Turkey-Russia relations, civil society initiatives, caught up on how we as human beings have changed over the course of the pandemic, what we want from this world, all while having some excellent food right by the Black Sea in the northern parts of Istanbul.

Thank you, Stiftung Mercator, and Jannes Tessmann and Derya Arac in particular, for making this happen and bringing us together! It gave me fresh perspectives I really needed."

(Oliver Rieche, TEFF 2019)