BELLSPIRATION CLUB – Burak Gün: Having foreign friends is a way of learning more than you can find on a simple website or in a book! (Part 2/4)

1) I can feel a lot of love between the countries of Balkans and the rest of the globe, and the only way to overcome some issues is to make friendships between us. You are very good at communication, so what do you think about it, having friendships over borders?

I think it is one of the best forms of discovering! Having foreign friends is actually a way of learning more than you can find on a simple website or in a book: you learn how your peers in different countries think, perceive things, live… This is indeed a perfect way of widening your perspective because basically, you challenge your norms and all the knowledge you earned in your country. Even if you don’t change at all at the end of the day, which is obviously possible and legit, this challenge teaches you something. Plus, in the future we, the youth, are going to build since we raise as friends and know each other way before becoming « notable » people, we may build our relations on trust and goodwill, and not on hatred. So yes, having friends, especially in neighboring countries, is a great thing in my opinion, because so far, the conflicts were only resolved through dialogue, and these friendships may facilitate the dialogue we need (and eventually get). Some people might find this utilitarianist perspective unlikable, which may sound a bit Bentahmesque to them, but I think this has key importance for our future.

2) What do you think of how we, youth, can improve the situation regarding international political relations?

Well, this is not an easy question to answer, and probably beyond my competencies to do so. However, my opinion is a bit dovish here: promoting reconciliation and dialogue. So far, —if not any, very few— imbroglio was overcoming peacefully with rough steps. They’re obviously necessary for some situations, but not always. My —a bit optimistic— thesis is that our generation, who got many good ties beyond borders thanks to the internet, can be a generation of reconciliation in the future. Maybe when we all occupy important posts as decision-makers, we may encourage sincere relations among our societies and organizations, hence our countries. This is not going to take happen overnight, and probably will take decades to happen even in the best case, but I really believe in it.

3) Can you share with us your vision of your life? How you imagine your life and who is Burak in like 50 years?

This is indeed a mind-boggling (not pejoratively) question! But let me briefly elaborate on what I told you so far. Personally, my vision consists of hard-working and taking useful and helpful steps for me, my loved ones, and the communities I’m a part of. Thus, I hope I will be reading, listening, and learning throughout the decades to come, and use everything I know for the good of not only myself but many more people, that’s what I dream of. As for my « Burak in 2071 », well, it’s very hard to guess I think, hahah — maybe we should start with hoping that we will be alive by then!  But I hope I’ll retire with good deeds behind me, whatever I become: a diplomat, an academic, or a white-collar in the private sector. Putting my stamp on something, leaving a humble yet important « legacy » behind would be enough for me, I guess. Not sure if I will become that person, I dream of being one day or do many things that I’ve been longing to, but the one thing I can guarantee is that I will try as hard as possible to do so. Should I succeed in them despite all my devotion and endeavor, which is also a possibility that I never ignore, I want a future in which I may reassure myself that I have tried, striven, and made every effort.

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