Istanbul, Sep 21 () - Hundreds of women have taken to the streets on bicycles in multiple events in western and southern Turkey to raise awareness of sustainable transportation methods, as Sept. 20 marked “The World Cities without Cars Day.”
Around 500 women cycled the streets of the Aegean province of İzmir after they gathered at İzmir’s Konak Square at 5 p.m. on Sept. 20 as part of an event called the “Chic Women Cycling Tour” to spread awareness of the positives of bicycle use and highlight the vitality of airy cities without exhaust fumes.
The women decorated their bicycles with multi-colored ornaments and flowers for the event.
“We decorated our bicycles with colorful ornaments, because we want to be conspicuously noticed,” Sema Gür, a woman speaking on behalf of the group, said.
Gür said bicycles were not only for exercising, but also for daily life and that they had gathered to raise awareness of sustainable transportation.
Filiz Morovaineler, a woman taking part in the event with her bicycle, said she was truly passionate about cycling.
“We, as women, want to make our voices heard. We want all cities to have necessary infrastructure for cycling. We yearn for sustainable transportation,” Morovaineler said.
“I live in İzmir. Our goal is to reach far destinations with bicycles, but without exhaust gases,” said Dilek Biçer, another participant of the event, adding they came with their bicycles without contaminating the environment.
Click to see pictures from the "Chic Women Cycling Tour"
İzmir Mayor Aziz Kocaoğlu from the Republican People’s Party (CHP) also attended the event, saying some roads in İzmir were rugged and that the İzmir Metropolitan Municipality were constructing cycling tracks.
In a separate event as part of the series of cycling events to stress the importance of bicycle use in daily life to reduce vehicle pollution, 50 women cycled the streets of Bodrum on Sept. 20 after they gathered at İskele Square in the popular resort town in the Aegean province of Muğla.
The women cycled Bodrum’s streets on bicycles decorated with colorful balloons and soft toys, and completed a full tour, cycling to the point that they initially started from.
Burcu Gelegen, a woman who cycled with the group, said bicycles could possibly be used if a convenient cycling arrangement was made, noting that bicycles were a transportation means as well as used for exercise and sporting purposes.
In a separate event in the Mediterranean province of Antalya, a group of women cycled Antalya’s streets after they gathered on Konyaaltı Street on Sept. 20.
The cycling event has been held since 1999 in European counties, and since 2002 in Turkey, said Deniz Laylak, a woman who took part in the event, speaking on behalf of the group.
“We want to point out environmental contamination, as we have cycled over the past two years in Antalya,” Laylak said.
“If we see bicycles as transportation means, that would be for the good of environment.”