📩 06/05/2022 15:48
Mersin Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Vahap Seçer pedaled together with cyclists from many cities at the 'Cleopatra Bicycle Festival', which was held for the first time this year with the slogan 'Pedals to History, Our Faces to the Future' by the Metropolitan Municipality. After the start of President Seçer, the historical Cleopatra Gate was passed. 210 cyclists from many cities took part in the festival, which started in a festive mood. President Seçer said, “We will ensure that this festival becomes traditional.”
The 'Cleopatra Bicycle Festival', organized with the cooperation of Mersin Metropolitan Municipality, Tarsus City Council and Tarsus City Council Cycling Community, will continue until 8 May. Cyclists will pedal to the historical, touristic and natural beauties of Tarsus for 3 days. Cyclists participating in the festival from different cities will be hosted at the Tarsus Youth Camp throughout the event.
Seçer: “Let's make Tarsus a bicycle city”
The festival, which starts in front of the Cleopatra Gate; In addition to President Seçer, CHP Mersin Deputies Alpay Antmen and Cengiz Gökçel, CHP Tarsus District President Ozan Varal, council members, muhtars, bicycle associations and communities from many different cities and many cyclists attended. Stating that they will continue to work to make Tarsus a bicycle city, Mayor Seçer said, “Let's make Tarsus a bicycle city. Tarsus is a very beautiful town. It is a very historical and ancient town. Our event today also has a motto; 'Our Pedals Look to History, Our Faces to the Future'. Very valuable communities, we have guests from all over Turkey. 210 of our brothers from outside Mersin are in Tarsus today to pedal.”
“So far, we have provided Mersin with 91 kilometers of bicycle paths”
President Seçer stated that necessary regulations should be made in order to increase bicycle lanes and said, “Let the legal regulations be in accordance with this. Local governments should make efforts to expand their bike paths and networks. Let's take it out of a wish, wish, wish and turn it into a legal obligation. Mersin Metropolitan Municipality gave the start of this in Mersin. Currently, we are definitely making bicycle paths on the boulevards we have built in the center of Mersin. So far, we have provided Mersin with 91 kilometers of bicycle paths,” he said.
“We are one of the 3 municipalities that make a Bicycle Master Plan in Turkey”
Emphasizing the importance of the event where citizens, administrators and bureaucrats come together, President Seçer said, “This issue is actually an example of participatory democracy. The people, administrators, mayor, bureaucrats rule the city together. The right decisions are being made. Everyone is satisfied with the decisions and practices taken. This is what we dreamed of. Thank God we have brought Mersin to such an understanding. Many things have changed when heads have changed, and it will continue to change. We are one of the 3 municipalities that make a Bicycle Master Plan in Turkey. This is an important source of pride for Mersin.”
“Our bike path target is 350 kilometers”
Reiterating that they have completed 91 kilometers of bicycle path in Mersin, President Seçer said, “Our target is 350 kilometers. Necessary procedures will be completed in Tarsus in May; 112 kilometers; There is also a tourism route in it; 56 kilometers will go, 56 kilometers will come. The 112 kilometer bike path will be put into the service of Tarsus within a year. Here is your President's word to you. Every time I come to Tarsus, I would like to see more cyclists. For this, we have a structure that is ready to make an effort to prepare all kinds of infrastructure. Don't worry. We love you. We care about cycling for a more enjoyable life. For a healthier life, we organize activities in Mersin during the Mobility Week.
“Cleopatra Bicycle Festival is a first in Tarsus”
Stating that they will organize the Caretta Cycling Festival and Tour Of Mersin (International Cycling Festival), which they could not hold due to the pandemic, President Seçer said, “We are working on this, but the Cleopatra Cycling Festival, which we started here, is a first in Tarsus. Hopefully, we will ensure that this festival continues and becomes a traditional one every year together. Now we will pedal together in the historical streets of Tarsus. I will be with you too. You already know that I am a cyclist. At least 3 days a week, I ride my bike early in the morning in Mersin, I walk on the beach, I do sports. I am very satisfied, I recommend it to everyone, they should buy a bicycle immediately and start pedaling”.
“We all have a common purpose; improve cycling”
Speaking on behalf of the Tarsus Cycling Community, Dr. Ali Cerrahoğlu made evaluations about the festival and said, “It is a great participation. We all have a common goal, a common purpose; We want to develop a healthy, clean, economical and beautiful transportation model. We will ride our bikes with pleasure today and we will see all the historical and touristic corners of our 10 thousand-year-old city for three days. We will visit all of them one by one. We will spend a very nice 3 days with you. We will go to the beach, to the hills, but at the same time, we all have a common purpose; to improve bicycle transport, to establish bicycle transport. To be able to transfer this clean transportation safely to our children and grandchildren.”
Cerrahoğlu, who thanked President Seçer for his support for the development of bicycle transportation, said, “Mr. President; We thank you very much for the importance you give to cycling, safe and healthy transportation, and for the support you give to all our projects. The Cleopatra Bicycle Festival started really well, very enthusiastically. The biggest thank you, thank you. We would like to thank Mersin Metropolitan Municipality and all the supporters.”
“Nice climate, warm environment”
Mersin Cycling Travelers Association President and All Cycling Associations Federation Vice President Ahmet Salih Özenir stated that they took part in a very good organization and said, “Nice weather, a nice climate, a warm environment. Tarsus is not a stranger to cycling. We are witnessing this. A city already familiar with cycling. Mersin Metropolitan Municipality is also starting the construction of bicycle paths in Tarsus. This will be a very good win for Tarsus," he said.
“It is a very good feeling to pedal in Tarsus in history”
Adana Cycling Club Sports Club President İzzet Altınsoy stated that Tarsus is a very rich place in terms of history and cultural values and said, “It is a very good event in terms of encouraging citizens to cycle. Having such an organization suits the city and its culture better. It is a very nice feeling to be in Tarsus, to be in the history of Tarsus, to pedal in Tarsus in history. You are traveling by bike, seeing the history. It is a very good feeling,” he said.
Mersin Bicycle Association President Süleyman Uygun said, “We are at the Tarsus Bicycle Festival and there is a really exciting community here. We look forward to visiting the historical areas of Tarsus with great excitement. We are now at the Cleopatra gate. I would like to thank Mr. Vahap President, who contributed to this organization, because he is a cycling friend and we are very happy to see him with us all the time, we thank him”.
“While you are cycling, you touch historical, cultural values and human nature”
Rahime Çelen, a member of Eskişehir Cycling Association, stated that she voluntarily participated in awareness activities for the development of bicycle transportation and that it was her second visit to Tarsus, “We came to this tour, which is organized by Mersin Metropolitan Municipality and in cooperation with all bicycle groups. I'm sure everything will be fine. We came from Eskişehir. Very enjoyable. I had been to Adana and its surroundings many times before, but I had not realized that Tarsus had such rich historical values. That's the difference with the bike. While cycling, you touch the historical, cultural values, human structure, you feel and understand better. Very nice, we liked it very much. I recommend everyone to come because when you go on tours or by car, you can't get close to so many historical textures, you can't feel it," he said.
Participating from Balıkesir Akçay, Sema Gülcü said, “We came to a nice event. They are very well organized. It's a beautiful country. We will represent the jersey of our country in our own country and we plan to share these beauties. At the same time, I would like to thank the whole team and everyone who contributed.”