Work underway to add Turkey to EuroVelo network
Turkey’s Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change Ministry has been working on a project that will add the country to EuroVelo, a network of long-distance cycle routes connecting and uniting the whole European continent.
Authorities have completed their work to draw up the project for the 1,700-kilometer route, dubbed the “Anatolian Corridor,” which stretches from the northwestern province of Edirne to the Central Anatolian province of Kayseri.
This route, which begins in Edirne, bordering Greece, will go through Ankara and the tourist hotspot Cappadocia and end up in Kayseri. Construction work for the 400-kilometer part of this route is expected to be launched soon.
The 1,465-kilometer-long second route, dubbed the “Coastal Corridor,” will be created between Istanbul and the country’s tourism hub Antalya, on the Mediterranean coast, all the way down the Aegean coast.
“This is a two-phase project, which foresees the construction of intercity and inner-city bicycle routes. We have already prepared a master plan for the intercity routes,” said İrde Gültepe, the head of the Directorate General of Environmental Management.
She noted that talks were underway to get the intercity bicycle routes to the EuroVelo network.
“We aim to attract cyclists to our country to visit touristic places and historical sites. There will be camping sites and rest areas along those routes. We are working to provide cyclists an environment where they can travel safely,” Gültepe said.
Turkey has long been a popular stop for people on around-the-world cycle tours, but there are plenty of other reasons to visit this country by bike, EuroVelo says on its website.
The country boasts fantastic food, gorgeous beaches, rugged mountains and interesting cities all waiting to be explored, it says.
EuroVelo is a network of 17 long-distance cycle routes connecting and uniting the whole European continent. The routes can be used by cycle tourists as well as by local people making daily journeys. EuroVelo currently comprises 17 routes, with over 90,000 kilometers of cycling itineraries.
The Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change Ministry is providing financial support to municipalities that are developing bicycle routes in residential areas, Gültepe said.
“The purpose is to help people commute on bicycles and create an environment for the whole family to enjoy cycling.”
About 207-kilometer-long bicycle roads have been constructed in 35 provinces to date with the support of the ministry, and work is underway in different provinces for the development of additional 530 kilometers of bicycle roads, according to Gültepe.
She recalled that Turkey ratified the Paris Climate Agreement and that the country targets net-zero emission by 2053. “As part of efforts to meet this target, we want to encourage people to choose bicycles as a means of transportation.”