A cyclist in Goztepe Park prepares for ‘Critical Mass’, a monthly bike ride intended to reclaim the streets from motorists.
Istanbul already faces brutal gridlock, and car traffic in the city is forecast to quadruple over the 15 years to 2023.
This, along with growing environmental awareness among a section of society, has spurred on an increasingly vocal cycling lobby.
It’s a chicken-egg situation: Dangerous roads mean that few people will cycle; few people cycling means there is little incentive for the government to make roads more bicycle-friendly.
But there are signs things are slowly changing. I spoke to some of the cycling ‘pioneers’ who are trying to claim their share of the streets.