Is Bicycle Culture Common in Turkey?

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People in Turkey are generally enthusiasts of cars. In fact, it’s an understatement to say “generally.” More than 80% of Turkish people are passionate about automobiles. It’s a country where the majority of people invest their all to buy a car.

Turkey ranks among the countries with the highest automobile prices. For example, the same vehicle that costs 25,000 units in another country averages around 950,000 units in Turkey. Nevertheless, the love for automobiles in Turkey is at its peak.

The vast majority of people living in Turkey use cars as a status symbol. As a result, they don’t pay much attention to more elite vehicles like bicycles. Moreover, car users on the road often feel uncomfortable seeing bicycles.

Returning to our topic, it can be said that there isn’t much of a bicycle culture in Turkey. The rate of seeing bicycles on the road is quite low. If there are 100 wheeled vehicles on the road, approximately 7 or 8 of them might be bicycles.

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There Are Those Who Use Bicycles for Hobbies and Sports

Although a very small minority, there are those who use bicycles for hobbies and sports.

In fact, municipalities have started building bicycle lanes in recent times. There are even municipal rental bicycles in many cities. You can rent these bicycles by the hour with a bicycle card and then return them to the bicycle station.

Bicycle Tours

Despite the weak bicycle culture in Turkey, relevant institutions in Turkey sometimes host races and tours of various sizes, supporting and sponsoring bicycle sports.

Apart from these, there are various small amateur bicycle groups. These are typically communities of people who love bicycles and bicycle sports. They organize short and medium-distance tours as a team.

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High Bicycle Prices

Just like everything else in Turkey, bicycle prices are high.

When you want to buy a low-end bicycle that won’t tire you out and is suitable for tours, it typically costs between 25,000 to 35,000 units. This is approximately equivalent to about three months’ salary for a minimum wage earner. Prices for high-end models can be even more exorbitant. For example, a bicycle that costs 2,800 units in different countries will have an average price of 150,000 units in Turkey.

The excessively high prices hinder those who want to engage in the hobby of cycling and organize tours.

Respect for Bicyclists in Traffic

I mentioned this issue in the introductory sections of the article. Nevertheless, to summarize, in a country without a bicycle culture, expecting respect for cyclists from vehicle users in traffic may not always be realistic. Of course, there are exceptions and considerate drivers. However, what’s important is, of course, the majority’s perspective.

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