Today we went to Salina Turda, one of the best and oldest underground riches in the world which is visited by 2 million foreign tourists annually. The Turda Salt Mine is a former salt mine of Romania transformed into a leisure and health center located in the Turda, Transylvania. Also this mine is on the list of historical monuments of the Ministry of Culture.
The oldest document mentioning Turda is from 1271. And in medieval times, salt was seen as one of the most important mines in Transylvania. Sometimes salt was used as currency.
The Turda salt mine, apart from its gigantic size, is relatively simple in history. The explosive materials were never used to dig the mine, so everything was done by hand or with a machine. The exploitation of salt stopped in 1932.
During the Second World War, Salina Turda served as a shelter for the inhabitants of the city. During the communist regime, the barren rock section of the Franz Josef was used as a refining cellar for local cheeses.
After our meeting with Mara Ratiu, we took a cab with Florin Ştefan and went to Spațiu Intact, an art gallery and studio. It is located in Fabrica de Pensule which is an old paintbrush factory. It is one of the most outstanding examples of converting an industrial building into a cultural space.
Once we arrived Florin started informing us about the Fabrica de Pensule. The converting project started in 2009 after the factory came to the brink of collapse following the end of the communist era during which it was financed by the government. The purpose was bringing together ideas, events and projects of cultural organizations, galleries, producers and independent artists against the lack of exhibition spaces and opportunities for young artists in Cluj. It's a platform for new artistic practices for the ones who are under-presented in the city. The Paintbrush Factory Galleries and Artists Federation & The Paintbrush Factory Artists Association, two non-profit organizations, intend to...
After our morning meeting, we headed to the fine arts and design college in the square of Aurel Vlaicu. Where we met Mara Ratiu who is the Vice Rector of Art and Design University of Cluj-Napoca.
The first day we arrived, we spent time in this square, and we did not realize it was the entrance of the university of fine arts. When we looked at this rather old building from the outside, it seemed quite plain except for the giant embroidered wooden door, so we thought that it might be a small church at first glance. Then, we looked at the writing on the plate and saw that it was one of the buildings of the fine arts university. One of the most loved features of Cluj is that it’s a very humble community, although the arts are quite good, the buildings are quite simple and far from overdone. Also, it is very important that art students are in the center of the city. In this respect, as the university is located in the heart of the city, it is a very good point for the artists in the city...
During our previous meeting with Madam Aslan, we planned a workshop with the students of the International Relations Department of the Babeş Bolyai University about the regional politics and Romania-Turkey relations.
Before starting the discussion, we talked more about the Institute of Turcology and Madame Aslan was very kind to give us copies of their works about the Turkish and Central Asian studies. They will be available in our universities library upon our return.
For the discussions several students and two professors arrived in the conference room and majority of them were also interested in the Russian politics as well. Therefore, we began with talking about the Black Sea region politics and we have talked about the Middle Eastern issues. They were enthusiastic about the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Association and the Natural Gas pipelines passing through Turkey so we have had fruitful discussions about the economic and political problems that the region was facing today.
On the 8th december, we went to the central graveyard which is the one of the best places in Cluj. Cimiturul Central is located in the centre of the city. But, if you want to visit the graveyard you have to pay attention; because there are only 3 entrances. If you don’t pay attention you miss the graveyard entrance. It is one of the oldest graveyards in Cluj and in Romania.
The graveyard perfectly reflects the multicultural character of Cluj. That’s Because Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant people are lying together there since 16th century . The graves were very different from one another.
Some graves were kitcsh, while some graves were very simple.There are pictures of the persons who died on the grave stones. It also tells you the profession of the deceased was doing while he/she was alive.
All in all, Central Cemetery of Cluj was a great place to understand the contemporary history of Romania as there were people who died in the World Wars, Revolution et cetera and some of the gr...
Following our fruitful meeting with the former prime minister and incumbent Cluj-Napoca Mayor Mr. Boc, we rushed to our next meeting which was with Mr. Vasile Puşcaş.
He is one of the most important factors in the transformation of Romania for he was the chief Negotiator during the EU Accession Process of Romania, therefore he is considered by most of the Romanians as the person behind the accession.
He was born in 1952 and he is also a graduate of Babeş-Bolyai University. During his time as a diplomat while he was in United States he had close relations with his American counterparts and he facilitated the acquisition of the Most Favored Nation (MFN) Status for Romania from USA during his mandate there between 1992 and 1994. Following his return to Romania, he became the chief Negotiator for the EU Accession of Romania and he worked with the EU closely to move forward with the process between 2000 and 2004. Finally at the end of 2004 the accession was signed and the biggest political...
We were very surprised to hear that Mr Boc, who is the former Prime Minister of Romania and the current Mayor of Transylvania Regions’ biggest city Cluj Napoca was available to have a meeting with us. He was going to be a very important part of our project with his invaluable insight and experience therefore we prepared ourselves with many questions for our meeting. We were welcomed by his assistants upon our arrival in the municipality.
We began our discussion with brief instructions and then when we were talking about the transformation of Cluj in the last 25 years Mr. Boc said that it’s still challenge for them to move forward. Romania which is one of the last countries to join the European Union and that it is still in a rapid development process with the aim of reaching the level of the other member nations.
Romania was the only country in Eastern Europe who had a bloody transition from communism to democracy, unlike other post-communist countries like Hungary, Czec...
After the interview in the studio we had a meeting with Andreea Mogoş, the vice dean of the Faculty of Politics, Administrative and Communication Sciences. She is a professor at the Department of Journalism and is also in charge with the international students and international programs like Erasmus. She began with presenting us the university and the faculty.
Babeş Bolyai University is the biggest university in Transylvania and Romania. There are 25 faculties and the PSAC is the biggest one compared to others. During the communist era, departments like political science and journalism were inexistent. There were only two schools but they were just for the propaganda. That's why it's the youngest faculty, established in 1995 even though the university is much older. According to last ranking made by the Ministry of Education, their programs were on the top of the rankings in their respective domains. There are 5 departments: Journalism; Political Science; Public Administration; Communic...
On the 4th day of our project, we met the journalism second year students and academicians of Babes Bolyai University. The faculties of the university are located in different regions of the city, but they are near the city center and the distance between them is relatively close.
When we came the to the faculty, journalism students welcomed us. We went to the studio where they broadcast and they were making arrangements for the program that we were going to do together. They told us that they were going to ask us questions about studies in journalism and journalism in Turkey. We waited for them a little bit to set the cameras and check the lights. Then we had to split in two groups because the studio was not large enough to accommodate the whole group. Our professors were on the broadcast all the time but a group of three students changed.
Broadcast was mostly in the form of questions and answers. The presenter asked us how the studies in journalism in Turkey was. Professor Bourse began...
In this piece we will tell you about the meeting that we had with the secretary of the Institute of Turkish and Central Asian Studies (ITCAS) Madam Margareta Aslan.
Purpose of ITCAS
The Institute was created to help facilitate the research about the history, civilization and culture of the Turks. It was created two years after the Romanian accession into European Union. It investigates the contributions the Central Asian and Anatolian Turks’ to humanitarian development.
About the transformation of the Institute and Romania
The institute is located in the central campus of the Babeş-Bolyai University and we were welcomed by the secretary Madam Margareta Aslan upon our arrival. We learned about both the institute and Romania from her. She is a young, dynamic and hard working person and this year she started to work as a secretary along with her doctorate studies on International Relations and Security Studies. She also gives lectures as an assistant in the university.
Today, we had a meeting with the master students of University Babes Bolyai and with Madam Alina Peloa. They're in a master program of Conference Interpreting. They made a session of exemplary 'conference interpreting' for us. At first, Alina Peloa read a paragraph which was about their program in Romanian, and the students took notes rapidly and then they interpreted it in French. Then everyone has introduced themselves and they did it simultaneously in English. We were all surprised by their speed.
After the interpretation, we asked questions about the European Union. One of the students said that she has danced for couple of years and they used to travel with the group to other countries for competitions and events when Romania wasn't part of the EU. She describes the paperwork which is necessary to get the visa or for the passport as a "headache". After the accession to EU, it was much easier to participate the international competitions. They could easily travel to other countries...