Sunday, June 13, 2010

We Made It!: First Official Turkish Postcrossing Meeting in Ankara!

When I started Turkey X World RR a few months ago, I had doubts. I thought Leslie and I would be running most of the groups and Basak and Nazmi would join now and then. I decided to start it anyway and some new-comers appeared all of a sudden: Birol and Ufuk. I also knew a few people who were busy with the official side of the story. After some time, I knew I could call for a meeting.

Almost two weeks ago, I personally texted 52 official postcrossers from Ankara. Apart from the ones I personally knew, only one of them replied and said she won't be able to make it to the meeting. Fine, I had my 10+ friends already (hopefully).

I knew Aselsan crew (That is our company's name and we are 7 postcrossers at Aselsan) would make it and Leslie of course. Ufuk had said he might bring some friends so all was set. We were to meet at Armada Kahve Dünyasi at 15:00 on June 12, 2010.

My day started quite early. I made a 40-minute travel to meet Leslie in the city center. We made our tour to one and only wholesaler for postcards in Ankara in Diskapi, which is Teknik Color. By the way, Turkish postcrossers, the guy who works at the wholesaler, Mesut has some idea about postcrossing and is really helpful. We were a bit disappointed at Teknik Color as the options were not as many as we thought. Still, compared with any other place in Ankara, there were a good number of options.

I was so happy to find Kocatepe Mosque cards of Ankara. A lot of people had marked it as favourites on the official side :)

Leslie was checking cards as well and we both dared to complain about the limited number of options we had for several times. We both knew that it was the most we could ask for in a city like Ankara. Still, we were happy with our cards.

Then, we went to the big post office in Sihhiye. It is the center of philately in Turkey. I am personally not into stamps but I feel very happy when I see people happy with my stamps. Although it is a bit of a journey to reach there, I try to go there from time to time to buy different stamps and FDC's for good friends: You know who you are :)

I spent around 33 Turkish Liras in total (around 17 euros) only because I don't want to decrease the stamp sales volume of my local library at Aselsan. Some of you may already know but Aselsan (a private company) has its own little, one staffed library. Actually, it is not a formal branch but like a satellite of a main post-office in the neighbourhood. I recently learned that the main branch was not happy with the volume's of the satellite. They were thinking it was too costly to employ a staff for a little post-office. If they ever close this post-office down, my life would become miserable so that's why I spent less.

On the other hand, Leslie was proud to spend 35+ euros as her conditions are different and it is quite problematic for her to get stamps. In the picture above, you can see Leslie after she invested (!) in stamps: Happy and proud :)

Then, we went to our meeting spot. Although we didn't book the place in advance, we managed to find a cosy corner and we were 13 POSTCROSSERS: pinuccia, ctrekoza, nazomci, moonlight, baldassare, denizzz, ozzzy, sibos, kfumkfuk, eyuksel, mehmetak, edzog and bgunseren. Yayyy :)
In the picture above, you can see me with me. The guy in the very front is Mesut (baldassare), a colleague of mine. The guy on the other side is Mehmet, a student in master of foreign languages. Ufuk (kfumkfuk) was so kind to print our postcrossing labels.

Here you can see almost all of us excluding Birol (bgunseren). He was busy taking this great photo. I know some other members took some other pictures so I may upload more in the near future.
In short, we had a great time. everyone was smiling at the end. We signed 100+ postcards both officials and for round robins. I have also seen some official cards for forum members. Maybe you are one of them. I was the craziest of the event and made everyone sign around 50 postcards :)
The number of participants and the number of postcards signed may seem small but remember it was our very first meeting and I am so happy that we made it in ANKARA where there are fewer postcrossers compared to Istanbul! However, I may go to Istanbul at the end of the month and some members from Istanbul already contacted me about how they could arrange a meeting in Istanbul. Maybe I'll help them arrange one at the end of this month :)
I am thinking about organizing a second meeting in Ankara in September after Ramazan Bayram holidays. Meanwhile, if any of you happen to come to Ankara for a reason, I can always arrange a mini-meeting :)


  1. Thank you for a great story, Pinar! If we have more pictures taken at our second meeting in early July, I will show you what limited choice really mean :)
    I already posted it on Leslie's blog, but I'll say it again: you, ladies, look gorgeous :)

  2. Glad to read that your meeting was a success!

  3. How cool! I'm so glad that you had a great turn out.