As part of its efforts to reevaluate urban mobility in the city, the Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality (MM) Transportation Department has secured a Gold Certification as a recognised Cycle-Friendly Employer (CFE). The department is leading by example in encouraging sustainable mobility, becoming the first Turkish entity to be certified by the CFE National Coordinator, ENVERÇEVKO, which has been a member of the European Cyclists' Federation (ECF) and National Coordinator since 2012.
"The Gold Certification of the Gaziantep MM Transportation Department will certainly act as a catalyst for more cycle-friendly measures in workplaces all across Turkey," said Feridun Ekmekci, Head of ENVERÇEVKO, "We are committed to fostering cycling to work on a national level, and the CFE Certification is a powerful tool towards that goal".
Gaziantep MM is Turkey's sixth largest city and the largest in the Southeastern Anatolia Region, with a population of over 2,100,000. One of the Transportation Department's priorities is to increase the comfort level of Gaziantep citizens in transportation by reevaluating urban mobility with an environmentalist approach.
What is CFE?
The Cycle-Friendly Employer (CFE) Certification Framework establishes a European standard for bicycle friendliness in the European workplace. The Certification aims to reward European companies in recognition for their efforts to improve conditions for employees that cycle to work. Encouraging employees to cycle to work is a worthwhile investment that contributes to the success of a business or organisation, making for healthier and more productive employees and reducing the impact of commuting on the environment.
The CFE Gold Certification is the top tier of CFE certification. In this case, it serves to acknowledge the dedication and commitment that the Gaziantep MM Transportation Department has demonstrated in improving conditions for their employees that cycle to work, standing as an ideal example for companies wishing to invest in sustainable mobility.
The Transportation Department, which is made up of a young, dynamic and enthusiastic team, earned the Gold Certification by installing 24 purposely-designed bicycle parking spaces by the entrances of the municipality building. These facilities provide a covered area next to the premise’s security guard post and are equipped with racks to which each bike can be attached.
To encourage more employees to cycle to work, staff have also been provided with folding bikes, helmets, gloves and cycling equipment, while changing rooms have been set up for those who want to freshen up upon arrival. For beginners, cycling training sessions have been organised and information brochures prepared.
The Gaziantep MM Transportation Department is leading the way for more municipalities in Turkey to seek the CFE certification and now serves as an ambassador of the scheme. Furthermore, Mayor Fatma Sahin is also chairman of the Union of Municipalities of Turkey (TBB – Türkiye Belediyeler Birliği), which serves as the national coordinator of the European Mobility Week.
These initiatives proved an immediate success amongst department employees, with 38 workers supporting the bike-to-work campaign and at least 15 employees commuting by bicycle daily, covering several kilometres per day.
ECF would like to commend the work of the Gaziantep MM Transportation Department, recognising that such efforts are the best way to truly achieve more and better cycling for all across Europe.