Who’s Mert Öztürk?

I was born in 1992 and raised in Izmir / Turkey. Both my closest friends and family have always been very supportive and open-minded. That’s one of the main reasons of me having a non-conformist versatile grow.

In fact, the path I’m following today started off when I first got into the BA programme in Izmir University of Economics. It was all out of my control and I actually ended up studying BA in International Relations and European Union. Even though at the beginning I had no clue about things around, towards the end I was so conscious with a very high GPA and the second rank among the whole department graduates that year. I liked the department so much that I have been even doing internships and been participating in Model United Nations in every single gap I took during my studies.

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2013 – Belgrade / Serbia. Model United Nations

Apart from theoretical knowledge that we are usually given in the university, I had some great opportunities to get some practical experience along with introducing myself to different countries. So far, everything has seemed pretty good but I can’t really say where all those things actually took me to after I finished my BA degree? – To an absolute uncertainty! To be honest, you have to put your learns-by-heart-part aside and take up your creativeness in order not to live off other people’s dictations and expectations but to be able to live under your own terms, which gives you the happiness. Frankly, It took me a year to realize this but let’s say better late than never…

A brief interruption with a different subject! Apart from all those academic and lively developments I explained above, for me, one’s self-improvement in sports is as important as anything else in life. I started playing football as early as my childhood period and have kept it up regularly till my undergraduate years. Towards the end of my high school period, I plunged in martial arts with a very strong passion in Goju-Ryu and Japanese Ju-jutsu branches of Karate. Eventually, I was awarded black belt and 1. Dan degree by the federation when I turned to 25. During all these years, martial arts has been one of the integral parts of my life and it still is. Now, I sometimes have a chance to learn the local martial arts of the country I visit. The last example of that was me practicing Nak Muay (Muay Thai) in various camps in Thailand. I believe that knowing your own body and keeping its healthy functionality in a good level are the most essential things, which have some positive effects on brain’s functions as well as the mental health.

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I had already taken my glimpse out of the pleasure that mingling with the new people from different cultures and learning foreign languages. I think this, needless to say, satisfies, to some extent, the instinct of curiosity, which is one of the basic features of human nature.

After my graduation, I first enrolled to an MA in Diplomacy and Security in Tel Aviv University / Israel with a scholarship. I won’t get in that too much because even though I had continued a couple of months, I haven’t completed the whole programme for some reasons.

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2014 – Passing through one of the most dangerous path in the Middle East in order to reach the Israel – Gaza (Palestine) border.

A year later, upon the exam I have taken in Ankara, I was called by the administration of Jean Monnet Scholarship Programme informing me that I was shifted from the second list to the main awardees list. I was literally experiencing one of the most vital milestones of my entire life and wasn’t even aware of this fact back then. Anyway, I said YES without even thinking. I ended up doing Master’s Degree in International Conflict and Security in University of Kent at the heart of Europe, in Brussels / Belgium.

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2015-2016 – Brussels / Belgium – Studying for Master’s Degree.

Academic gains aside, there were two main brightsides and no downside whatsoever! The first one was about travelling all the way round Europe inch by inch. The second one was me learning French language since Brussels was one of the cities where the French language is spoken by the majority in Belgium. Right at that point, I had already been an addict 🙂 I personally call it an addiction for difference. From that on, I was bound to associate travelling to whatever I want to do for living as a job.

International organizations such as NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) and UN (United Nations) have always been on the top of my dream jobs’ list. Once again, when I was studying MA in Brussels, I got an unexpected call from NATO informing me that I got accepted for the position I had applied for.

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Those days I was working at NATO… You are just a white collar even if you are told that you were gonna be James Bond here 🙂

I worked there for a while without having any other second thought until I took an ‘insane’ decision. Obviously, It is not me who would call the decision insane since I was the one who made it. It was almost everyone around me who thought that it wasn’t a healthy decision. Anyway, the decision was me not continuing my job and buying a new 80lt. massive backpack. When you set your mind for such a thing, money cannot be your driving force nor your motivation. If so, you can’t even get to the point where you start contemplating as such. On the one hand, I was pushing all the excellent working facilities and career opportunities away. On the other hand, I ventured in a path full of uncertainties and unknown future plans. It goes without saying that it was NOT for everyone but I thought that it was totally appealing to me. When people asked WHY? I basically said why not!?

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That moment I bought the 80 lt. backpack right after I left my job.

From the very beginning, I knew that the uncertainty is what excites me. Have I saved a lot of money for this unknown journey? – Definitely not. To be honest, I got myself into this by withdrawing all I have in my bank account (the last sum of what’s left out of my scholarship). You can even imagine how small amount of money it was since I could take the whole amount with me literally all in cash. Contrary to what most of you would think, it is much more beneficial for one to hit the road with a small amount of money rather than a huge sum of life-savings… I will explain why I claim such a thing in one of my other writing in details.

Today, I strongly believe that I’m making the most out of every single day I breathe on earth. Rather than having a career-oriented monotonous CV that can undertake its opponents in the competitive market, I have chosen not to have a CV which is strict and normative owned by everyone else with some slight differences. Today, my CV is just competing with itself, which is the main motivation to improve myself regardless of who does what. I have to say that judging people is not my intention whatsoever. What I’m doing might be regarded wrong by some for sure. I also totally respect those who choose the opposite way because I’m sure that they also think they are on the right way and what they do is the right thing to do according to their own rational choice. In the end, everything, every case, every decision and every path contain both rights and wrongs.

Anyway, everything’s been going very well so far except from some tiny obstacles on the road. I now have a great chance to influence many other people in a positive way through my website. This is a blatant indicator of everything’s going to be even better and better day by day unless we believe otherwise. I believe what we perceive is the reality so that WE are the ONLY masters of our own construction of reality.

 

 

 

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