Originally born in Trabzon, Turkey, Murat has been a cyclist his whole life. A former national athlete and coach, he later founded several cycling associations in Turkey and now wants to significantly improve the conditions and acceptance of cycling in Istanbul as Bicycle Mayor.
What is your mission?
To improve cycling and boost bicycle culture in Istanbul. This means improving bicycle infrastructure and making sure everyone is safe riding a bike in the city.
What obstacles are you facing?
The main obstacles to increasing cycling here has to do with difficult political and economic conditions where there is an inadequate budget and economic problems in the country to support better infrastructure.
What can other cities learn form your program
I hope that one day Istanbul will be a role model for other cities in Turkey and that they learn from our strategy.
What is the next step?
I will work with District Municipalities in Istanbul Municipality of Ataşehir, Beylikdüzü
Municipality and Kadıköy Municipality, Bicycle Association, local groups and schools. My plan for Istanbul includes initiatives to get high school and university students to cycle to school, and raising awareness through joint efforts with non profit organisations.