There's plenty of room for cyclists on the roads outside Van. Photo by Bryce Edwards via Flickr.
"You notice a flower blooming near the road [when] riding a bicycle, but you cannot see it driving a car," says Mustafa Sarı, the president of the Turkish Nature Watchers Society. Though cycling is not a common pastime in Turkey, the group is trying to build interest in it through a project called "Bisikletime Biniyorum Doğayı Seviyorum" (I Ride My Bike, I Love Nature).Created in partnership with Gençtur, a UN-supported program that organizes tours, voluntary service activities, and other cultural exchanges for Turkish and foreign youth, the cycling project was set up last year to help promote the use of bicycles and a better appreciation of nature.
Currently, 30 university students, half from European countries and half from Turkey, are participating in a cycling tour of the eastern province of Van, a potential cyclist's paradise with its remote villages, mountainous terrain, and dramatic 3,750-square-kilometer lake.
The project has also established cycling lanes on some of the campus roads at the local Yüzüncü Yıl University, trained new cyclists, and introduced local people to the sport through cycling tours of the city center and Van's historic attractions. Via: "University students promote cycling to protect nature," Today's Zaman
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