SAMSUN, Turkey

After setting off from central India, Nitin Sonawane made it on Friday to Turkey’s northern province of Samsun.

Having visited 32 countries across Asia, Europe, Africa and America, Sonawane seeks to tell the world about the message of peace espoused by the leader of India’s independence movement, Mahatma Gandhi.

On foot for most of his tour following his departure from Wardha district in Maharashtra state, Sonawane says he spent very little through his journey, staying in tents.

After Georgia, he arrived in northeastern Turkey and is planning to visit Anitkabir, the mausoleum of the country’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, in the capital Ankara.

“There are great similarities between Ataturk and Gandhi. Both of them are among the most important leaders of the 20th century who motivated their people for change. Gandhi supported Turkey’s Independence Movement after World War I. Ataturk is known amongst the Indian society, and he is a respected leader,” he said.

Sonawane intends to return to his country through the Middle East.

He visited Samsun’s mayor, Cemil Deveci, and said he was very happy with Turkish hospitality.

From Turkey’s northeastern border province Artvin, he traveled to Samsun, where “everyone I met on the road asked if I was hungry, if I needed anything,” Sonawane told Deveci.

Deveci congratulated Sonawane on his quest to spread Gandhi’s message and said Ataturk and Gandhi were era-defining leaders.

The Indian traveler spent some time in Samsun, then set off to Ankara.

*Writing by Firdevs Bulut

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