Hello friends,

After intense days of mass protests and lots of police violence, we could dedicate today to our blog again.

Today, June 10th, Florent and Peter had a meeting at 10 am with Aydin, a new friend, ceramics-student at the Hacettepe University. We met at the Ardic Cafe and went to his college to see what they do there. We already knew that the students, together with a Korean professor, had already built a big dragon oven. This enthused us and that’s why Aydin invited us. At the end, Aylin and Aysu went with us. It was a beautiful experience, we spent the whole day together and finished at 9:00 pm at Ardic cafe.  

Aydin showed us all of the ceramics department, including the place of fires and ovens. The dragon is an enormous construction like you can see from the pictures below. We could also watch the most ancient method in history of cooking clay objects. A hole is dug on the floor and the objects are placed there. After, it is covered with wood and the fire is made, various times so that lots of embers are produced. There is a tube on both sides that reaches the embers directly and keeps them red hot. When everything has turned to embers, everything is covered with a metal plate and stones (see pictures below). In this college, students learn everything about the ceramics and stones’ process and they must build their ovens. You can imagine how fascinated we were. With the help of the Korean professor, a wonderful person, Peter could experiment doing a clay bowl with the wheel. From the beginning, a North-American student, Zach, approached us. He has been studying there for 4 years. It was fortunate because he translated for us from English to Turk and vice versa. He was enchanted with us. We spent many hours in this place of artists in a fantastic atmosphere with lots of human warmth, chatting all the while. At 8:00 pm, we went back to Kizilay and we found the square completely closed off by police vehicles, loads of policemen and the already known attack vehicles. This was all done to prevent protesters from reaching the square. We put some images on facebook. 

Handan called us in the meantime and we met at Ardic Café. When we arrived, a contact with an Italian-speaking person immediately occurred and we introduced ourselves. He comes from Damascus in Syria and is now living in Ankara. We invited him to our table and found out he also speaks English. He is a very nice person and we immediately became friends. Handan also arrived. So we chatted for another hour with Handan, our Syrian friend Ayram, Aylin, Florent and Peter. We exchanged phone numbers with Ayram and we made a date to meet tomorrow and talk more. 

It was an excellent day and we were all very happy and thankful.

Also, on the previous days we met new friends, so everything is fine.
Tomorrow we will meet with Medhi again, who was with us on the other days. 

We are very well and happy to be in Ankara in these intense moments people are living here.
A big hug,
Florent & Peter