22 July Wednesday

Istanbul on the Road for EuroVelo 13

The Istanbul Metopolitan Municiplaity (IMM) has initiated extending the Iron Curtain Trail (ICT), also known as EuroVelo 13 (EV13) into Istanbul.

The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IMM) has taken the initiative to have Istanbul included on EuroVelo 13 (EV13), which starts from Norway and runs through 13 countries including Finland, Russia, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Greece and Bulgaria and would then enter into Turkey from Edirne.

To include Istanbul in this prestigious route, the EuroVelo Istanbul Coordination Team, consisting of three experts in the field, was established as part of the Transportation Planning Directorate under the Department of Transportation of the IMM. The Istanbul Bike-House, which will begin operating in Yenikapı shortly, is also planned to serve as a National EuroVelo Coordination Unit for Turkey.

EuroVelo is a network of currently 16 long-distance cycling routes criss-crossing Europe, in various stages of completion. When completed, the EuroVelo network's total length will be almost 90,000 km. As of November 2019, more than 45,000 km were in place. EuroVelo is a project of the European Cyclists' Federation (ECF).

EuroVelo routes can be used for bicycle touring across the continent, as well as by local people making short journeys. The routes are made of both existing national bike routes and existing general purpose roads, together with new stretches of cycle routes to connect them.

Extending the EuroVelo 13 route to Istanbul will allow the historical and cultural richness of the city to be included in bicycle tourism networks. This network, which has enhanced the reputation of the cities in its route, will also contribute to the city's economy.

It is planned that many tourists, coming out from Europe with their bikes and going on a long distance ride, will be able to visit our country and enjoy the beauties of Turkey.

As the transition to Asia from Europe, Istanbul will be considered an important stopping point with this project. It is aimed to ensure significant contribution to the development of tourism. It will also play a role in the development of the bicycle transport infrastructure in Istanbul.

Eurovelo, the European Cycle Route Network, is a sustainable tourism project conducted by the European Cyclists Federation and is supported by the EU Sustainable Tourism and Transport Comission. It is a network of 19 long distance cycle routes that connect the whole continent at 1,320 to 10,400 km long.

By connecting villages, cities and countries, these routes offer advantages in terms of publicity, economy and prestige to the residential areas they pass through.

EuroVelo networks, in which rural roads are used instead of major highways, are also an important driving force in terms of awareness of cultural diversity and local development.

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