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Pedal power gets Turkish makeover

Turkish activists put heels on wheels to encourage women to ride bicycles for transportation, health, empowerment and a cleaner environment.

The Chic Women’s Bicycle Tour kicked off Sept. 20 in 10 Turkish cities. The call for participants, made through various social media outlets, stated, “This women’s activity is organized by women for women.” The cycling activists calling themselves Suslu Kadinlar (Chic Women) described the event as “independent, commercial free, without politicians and free for all.” They invited everyone to join. The bicycle tour was held for the third time in conjunction with the annual Car Free Cities Day, an initiative organized as part of the European Union’s “Mobility Week” activities. The Chic Women’s tour attracted the most attention from the public, and photos from the event help explain why.

One of the requirements for participation was to dress up, wear makeup and decorate your bike. It is the rare protest where participants take breaks to freshen their makeup. The riders' high heels, colorful dresses, quirky hats and flowery headbands made for great photo ops of beautiful women on wheels. Going against the trend of wearing sporty biking gear, these women dressed to attract maximum attention.

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