This years Worlds University Debating Championships were hosted by Koc University in Antayla, Turkey and I was lucky enough to get to go along as a Judge to this magnificent event.
Koc spared no expenses in hosting this tournament, with the entire delegation (of about 1,500 people, making it the worlds largest student event) put up in the 5 star Maritim Pine Beach Resort. This fantastic venue was made even better by the fact that everything was free! Including the hotels many bars, a service which was availed of frequently by the Irish contingent.
Aerial View of the Hotel Complex
The Social events organised were amazing, the highlights being the Full Moon New Years party hosted on the beach including with a spectacular fireworks display to boot, and the closing night white themed "Atlantis Party".
Not all the nights went without hiccup though. One night we were brought to what we were promised was "Turkey's best nightclub", only to arrive at a converted industrial building with an interior that reminded me strongly of the Palace. Drinks were priced at a suitable rate to compensate for the free bars at the hotel. To top all that though it soon proved to be in fact a mafia club, and the mafia of at least 3 different nations later showed up complete with armed bodyguards.
The only regret I have was that despite spending over a week in Turkey, I got to see very little of what I'm sure is an amazing country. Free 5 star hotels are amazing, but they could be anywhere. I'll definitely be returning sometime in the near future to see more. I would have stayed for longer afterwords, but for the scheduling of my exams in January (this blog post is an attempt to postpone study!) Sadly I have a lack of Photos for all this as I have mislaid my camera, hopefully I will either find it or get a new one before I go somewhere interesting next time.
As for the debating, DCU's teams did very well. Adam and Derwin (DCU A) finished on 14 points (a very respectable score) while Declan and John (DCU B) finished on 12, that despite Declan having to miss 4 rounds with a nasty bug that was going about. I got to Judge good rounds throughout, and even got to be a chair judge which I'm happy about.