Turkish president swaps limo for bicycle
Abdullah Gul’s showing at the event seemed to go against speculation of his reportedly ailing health
Turkey’s President Abdullah Gul on Friday briefly swapped his limousine for a bicycle in order to promote a long-standing cross-country cycling event.
After a 1.7 kilometer ride around the hilly grounds of the capital Ankara’s Cankaya Presidential Palace – accompanied by a group of cycling officials and journalists appearing to follow tactfully behind – Gul said he found the trip fairly difficult.
“The route had ups and downs, it was not easy at all,” he said, according to Turkish daily Hurriyet.
“Cycling is a way of life in developed countries. People go to their jobs on bikes, no matter what their positions or names are. It is also a highly recommended sport for health. So I hope that this [event] promotes [the sport of cycling],” he added.
Gul’s outing was to promote this year’s 50th iteration of the Presidential Tour of Cycling, or Tour of Turkey, which will see twenty-one teams and 168 riders compete in August.
His showing on Friday seemed to go against speculation of his reportedly ailing health, Istanbul-based newspaper Today’s Zaman reported, adding that the president “looked fit” ahead of presidential elections – also scheduled to take place in August.
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