‘Fancy women’ ride bikes to mark Car Free Day
Within the scope of the “Fancy Women Bike Ride” event, thousands of women pedaled in various provinces across the country to give more visibility to women in society and to demand cycle-friendly cities.
The event originated in Türkiye’s western province of İzmir in 2012 when a Turkish teacher, Sema Gür, called on fellow women to get behind the handlebars while wearing fancy dresses and makeup to mark Car Free Day, an initiative organized as part of the EU’s Mobility Week activities.
This year’s simultaneous events were held on Sept. 18, with women carrying banners reading “fancy women” and decorating their bicycles with balloons, flowers and toys.
Women gathered in the biggest squares of the provinces and toured around on two wheels.
“We want to show the power of women,” said Gür, the founder of the event, in İzmir’s Karşıyaka district.
“The event is a strong message to the world,” expressed Özlem Aslan, a participant at the event who proudly said that she attended the “fancy women” rides many times.
Mehmet Asi was one of the few men in the İzmir event supporting the “fancy women” with his “fancied bike.”
“I care a lot to see men here with women in this ride,” he added.
In the event in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır, dozens of “fancy women” pedaled around 10 kilometers. Drivers in the southern province of Adana supported the “fancy women” riding across the city’s main streets with horns.
“Not only this Sunday, but we also want to see the streets closed on all Sundays through the year,” said another “fancy woman” while joining the event in the southwestern province of Muğla’s Datça district.
Mehtap Yavuz is the event’s representative in the eastern province of Elazığ. “Years ago, we were afraid as we did not know how the people would react to this event. We witnessed great support. The number of ‘fancy women’ increases every year.”