My participation in the first separate SEEDIG (the first one was held as an event within EuroDIG) started with me enlisting in an ICANN mailing list for the region. Following the discussions on the list, I found out about SEEDIG which led me to join the organizing committee, participate in calls and submit proposals for workshops to be held. As the date approached, Auke and I volunteered as remote moderator and reporter for the human rights workshop.
Attending our first regional IGF after IGF 2015 in Brazil helped put many things in perspective; the common and different point of views when it came to certain topics and varying priorities highlighted the need for national and regional forums. It also taught me how advanced many countries in the region were in the topics of internet governance -especially in technical issues/subjects. Although one day for and a few hours dedicated to each main topic weren’t nearly enough, this was a great start of what I can tell that will be a rapidly growing forum and community. It also provided a great opportunity for me to observe how an IGF is organized from scratch, how it needs to be very transparent and inclusive and the importance of community feedback on shaping the event. This was an exceptionally beneficial point for me as I and other members try to organize IGF Turkey.
Once the day ended, I met local experts and friends who I’ve learned plenty form ever since and still keep in touch with at the beautifully organized social event. Coming from somewhat similar countries on the developmental level, provided the perfect environment to discuss how to advance the discussion in our local communities coming from similar backgrounds. Coming from a country where the IG discussion is limited to a very small community, it gave me insight and courage on how it is possible to further efforts no matter how small the starting effort may be.
I look forward to continuing being a part of the South Eastern European Dialogue on Internet Governance in the coming years.