“Get Turkey Cycling!” Campaign Takes Off in Three Turkish Cities
In April, the European Union awarded WRI Turkey Sustainable Cities funding from the Civil Society Support Programme II to organize a communications campaign around cycling in three Turkish cities: İzmir, Eskişehir and Lüleburgaz. The “Get Turkey Cycling!” campaign aims to promote cycling as a sustainable and healthy commuting mode and to foster a culture of collaboration between public authorities and civil society organizations.
Over the last ten years, cycling in Turkey has come a long way. Before, a bicycle was seen more as a gift for children or simply a means of recreation. But today, after cities have spent years developing bike culture and infrastructure, cycling has an official place in urban planning and national regulations. To further these efforts and promote cycling in cities of all sizes, WRI Turkey Sustainable Cities will be collaborating with İzmir, Eskişehir and Lüleburgaz – all of which already have cycling infrastructure – on a mass communications campaign.
To gain public support, “Get Turkey Cycling” will involve representatives from civil society at every stage in the process, working with local groups related to cycling. With this approach, the project aims to reinforce cross-sectoral collaboration.
In July, WRI Turkey Sustainable Cities will co-organize with the Dutch Cycling Embassy a field study to learn best practices from cycling campaigns in the Netherlands. Afterward, the participants – including representatives from the municipalities and civil society organizations in the three Turkish cities and from the Ministry of Environment, the Bank of Provinces and the Union of Turkish Municipalities – will evaluate the cycling culture in Turkey and related communications challenges and opportunities.
WRI Turkey Sustainable Cities will then launch a training program on effective strategic communication for local officials and civil society stakeholders in each city, mentoring them and supporting their campaign design process leading up to a two-week campaign in March and April 2020. Ultimately, in June 2020, WRI Turkey Sustainable Cities will gather lessons learned from all three cities in a report to share with the Turkish government and other Turkish cities, laying the foundation for future cycling campaigns and collaboration.