Afacan entdecken
From dream to reality

In 1988, the Er-Fahren working group together with Gençtur Istanbul came up with the idea of creating a place in Turkey where young people could come together. Our dream was to create a place where young people could move about freely, a place that would meet their needs, but that would also give them the opportunity to come into contact with Turkish society and engage with it.

Over ten years passed before this work was to be completed. Finally, after a series of sometimes very taxing and unpleasant obstacles, we were able in 2003 to purchase a hotel complex on the Aegean coast (80 km north of Izmir) and have it converted according to our specifications.

A Berlin-based Turkish engineer took over the planning and management of the construction, which was carried out by an Istanbul company. We put together our plan for the use of the site with Gençtur Istanbul, whose manager also took over the management of Afacan.

Renovations were completed in 2004 and the meeting center was finally able to open.

A wide variety of people come to Afacan.

As was our original intention, it is used by groups from Germany that are sponsored by the Er-Fahren working group. Summer camps for children and young people from Turkey are also held in Afacan, and we host international work-camp projects and cross-cultural events with participants from a variety of countries, as well as encounters between Turkish groups.

The number of overnight stays rose considerably, almost doubling between 2004 and 2014.

Since 2015, however, fewer groups from Germany have traveled to Turkey because of the political developments here, and thus of course fewer have also come to Afacan.

Fortunately, more groups from Turkey and other countries are using Afacan as a meeting place, so we have been able to keep the place going and have even been able to significantly reduce the amount of funding we require from the Foundation. We are confident that more groups from Germany will start coming to Afacan again too.

Afacan continues to be the peaceful oasis we dreamed of.

A detailed presentation of the project (in German):