ANKARA

This year’s theme for European Mobility Week encourages people to use bicycle and public transportation rather than private vehicles, a senior Turkish official said on Friday.

“This year’s theme is Zero-emission mobility for all. This means using more bicycles and public transportation,” Faruk Kaymakci, deputy foreign minister and director for EU affairs, told a video conference on Civil Society and Local Governments.

Among the attendees of the meeting were the head of the EU Delegation to Turkey Christian Berger as well as local Turkish officials.

Kaymakci said that he tested today if the Turkish capital Ankara was suitable for going to work by bicycle, and added: “It may not be possible in every district of Ankara but I experienced it and started my work with more positivity.”

Touching on Turkey’s attendance in the European Mobility Week, Kaymakci said local administrations are showing more interest to the activities every passing year.

“Last year, we marked the Mobility Week with the attendance of 3,136 municipalities from 50 countries. This number is increasing in Turkey as well,” he said.

Kaymakci said that through a city-pairing project between European and Turkish cities, it is planned to share information and experience between municipalities. The Presidency of the Council of the EU in Turkey has allocated €2.6 million ($2.9 million) to support these projects, he said.

Also speaking at the meeting, Berger thanked Gaziantep Mayor Fatma Sahin for nature-friendly projects in the southeastern province of Turkey.

Stating that the EU and Turkey should work together in all fields of nature-friendly transportation, Berger said both Turkey and Europe have things to learn from Gaziantep in this regard.

He also highlighted Europe’s aim to reach zero carbon emission by 2050, and said to realize the aim everybody needs each other.

Since 2002, the European Mobility Week has sought to improve public health and quality of life through promoting clean mobility and sustainable urban transport, according to the campaign’s website.

Through this year’s theme, the campaign “encourages people and local authorities to take steps to achieve the long-term goal of a carbon-neutral continent,” it said.

The week will be marked between Sept. 16 and 22.

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