One of the student clubs that really takes you outside is EKODAK-Mountaineering and Tracking Club. To find out more about them, we spoke with the Chairman Mert Akıllı who studies Mechatronics Engineering at IUE.
How did your interest in Mountaineering and Tracking start?
My high school was located in the country, far away from the city centre.We would often play truant and walk from the school to the city, I became interested in finding different ways and found out I was a bit of a leader as I liked to lead my friends during the journey. After a while, I discovered the fun of camping via fests after which I started doing camping-climbing activities. In the year I started University, I joined EKODAK.
Which qualifications have you gained thanks to this sport?
Firstly, I have gained self confidence. Because of the nature of climbing, it’s so important. If you lack self confidence, you cannot move around the more dangerous cliffs. Secondly, I’ve developed some strong friendships and the importance of this you really only understand when you are having a hard time. We even have got a quote in Turkish about that: ‘Adamı dağda tanırsın’ (You only get to know a man in the mountains). Finally, I’ve learned the art of sharing and I’ve gained resistance against harsh conditions.
Do you have any remarkable stories about your experiences?
Once, my friend and I had been camping and during the night, a group of pigs attacked the campsite! There were only two tents between us and the pigs, and the camping area was built on a cliff.We took position around the campfire and we yelled and made lots of noise. In situations like these, you learn self control and how to remain calm.
Have you ever seen or experienced any accidents?
Ever since EKODAK was founded, we haven’t had any accidents in 10 years.
Why does the Mountaineering and Tracking Club have the highest number of applications?
This year almost 300 people enrolled. I think people need nature, they are stressed out with city life. When we are camping, they share food with each other and see each other without any make up or beauty products. Out in nature, there is no exaggeration.