Bicycle Diplomacy

Kilis—a Turkish border city whose population doubled with the arrival of Syrian refugees—is giving away thousands of bicycles to children. Recipients must maintain good grades, pledge to cycle for at least 1 hour a day and convince a relative to quit smoking.

The bikes are part of a series of civic and infrastructure projects including a 20-mile intracity cycle lane. Mayor Hasan Kara initially used city and Ministry of Health funding but is now asking the EU to help expand programs.

“Support us,” Kara says, “and let’s make this a model city, one of bicycles, a healthy lifestyle and a culture of coexistence.”

The Guardian

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