Birgun

The girls made the front page

The girls made frontpage in Turkish newspaper Birgun today!

For Turkish speakers, link here https://www.birgun.net/haber/guzel-haber-yok-mu-393509

It is Dogan Tilic’s column.

Here is a deceant Google translation:

“If I hadn’t read yesterday’s review of our Editorial Coordinator Yaşar Aydın, I would have written something completely different. “Perhaps one of the phrases we heard the most while trying to do our job as a journalist in recent years was the title of the article, ‘Isn’t there good news?’, he said.

I know from myself that it is not only the readers who ask that question and feel the same distress. I miss being able to write pleasant, smiling, thought-provoking articles so much!

However, the state of the country does not leave the corner! We always write about censorship laws, the pressures of the government, the retired officer waiting for a three cent increase in his salary, the minimum wage person who dreams of meat, the unemployed, the doctor who left the country…

No good news?

There is, isn’t it? News that gives hope, makes smiles in life, and makes us proud in art and sports… Even in the midst of wars where people strangle each other, my eyes saw “good” news.

***

We made a rule in the constitution that we prepared before BirGün’s release, that even in the darkest and most difficult times, we will always put a “good” news on the front page.

We had “Back Page Beauty”, remember? As a criticism of the way the media commodifies the female body, we used to post a wonderful photo of a flower, an insect, sometimes a wrinkled grandmother, sometimes a child, and throw our “travel-wise” heads at a media disgrace!

I was in Izmir at the weekend. It was nice! I witnessed the beginning of Dana and Eva’s new adventure with their father.

Dana is 9 years old and Eva is 11. No one could believe it, but they will go from İzmir to Cappadocia by pedaling exactly 1000 kilometers (km). By staying in a tent along the way, cooking and eating themselves!

***

I wrote about their father Mikael before; It’s called “The Man Who Came By Bicycle”. One of the world’s greatest living travelers and explorers. I met him during a two-year bike tour from New Zealand to Cairo, 1994-1996, while passing through our Niksar. That day we are friends today.

He also wrote for BirGün, Mikael! He conveyed the most interesting corners of the world to us with exquisite photographs.

Now, he has taken his two daughters on a bicycle journey that will take a few thousand kilometers for the documentary “Traveler/Explorer Father and Daughters”, in fact, to prepare them for life and to meet different cultures during this time.

***

Izmir Metropolitan Mayor Tunç Soyer, who is also a bicycle enthusiast, supported the journey that started from Izmir. The first stage of the journey is the 500 km route within the borders of İzmir, the first city from Turkey to join the European Bicycle Network (EuroVelo) with an economic size of 7 billion euros. When completed, the documentary that will participate in international festivals, will be a feature film and screened on digital platforms is a unique opportunity to promote the country and Izmir.

But that’s not my good news; Dana and Eva!

Would you take your 7-year-old daughter and go on bicycle trips such as 500 or 1000 km, crossing the roads as soon as the caravan passes?

Dana was 7 years old and Eva 9 years old when she took her first long bike ride. They pedaled 1200 km from Malmö to Dala in Sweden. Then, 450 km in winter conditions; From Dala-Jarna to Sundsvall. Last summer, 1600 km from Malmö to Kapelskar. Always stay in the tent!

What’s wrong with you bro?

If you ask Mikael like this; “To be better people,” he says. “To get to know different cultures and people, to realize that no culture is superior to the other, that black, white, woman, gay, man, Eastern and Western are not different or superior to each other. So that a pedal can be our contribution to a livable world.”

That’s good news!”

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