How many kilometres have you travelled? How long do you plan to travel?
I completed 12 thousand 500 kilometres in 11 months between 2010 to 2011 taking off from Samsun, and travelling over Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Mongolia, South Korea and Japan. Travelling around the world on a bicycle was a wonderful feeling. After I finished the tour I said to myself, “If circumstances allow, I can also tour the world on a bicycle to realize my childhood dream.” A year later, I started to believe that I could go on the tour on my bicycle. Today, when I look back, I see that I have been on the road for 7 years and left behind a total of 62,500 kilometres in 53 countries. I plan to have visited more than 100 countries and to have travelled 120 thousand kilometres or more by 2020.
When you travel, you devise many projects. Could you tell us about these projects?
For years I have written, photographed and made videos of what I have seen. I also try to dub my articles for my visually impaired followers. I share all my experiences during the journey with those interested in such a trip on the website gurkangenc.com. In addition, I give away bicycles to people who answer general knowledge questions I ask in my articles, give scholarships for foreign language training, provide equipment and financial support to young female athletes placed in competitions, and carry out studies home and abroad with “Young Explorers” Project I devised for university students.
You have definitely observed Turkish trails in countries you visit. Which impressed you the most?
I had the opportunity to closely examine the Ottoman monuments in Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, Tunisia, Palestine, and Qatar. I travelled to Jordan and visited the Ottoman castles in villages and off the beaten tracks. In Algeria, in the middle of the desert, I came across Bedouin who expressed their loyalty to the Ottoman Empire. I followed the ancient Hijaz railroad route in Saudi Arabia, and reached stations located in the mountains built by Turkish engineers. I visited the marketplace built by the Ottomans in Acre in Israel, and got the chance to see numerous other monuments.