By Ahmet Abdulaziz…..
For some life is a struggle. Usually such people lead a difficult life, and find it really difficult for them. But there are some people, who not only struggle, but also find a way to turn that struggle into a form of enjoyment, adventure. This is how they turn the negative aspects of their hard lives into positive.
However saying so is easy, but to do it practically is not so easy. 39 year old Abdulahalim Akçay is one such fellow, who has bravely faced the challenges of a tough and hard life, but has turned it into a life totally different from others.
He is presently on his bicycle tour of the whole of Turkey, from west to east and from north to south. He started off this thrill filled very tough expedition on 28th November, 2019 from Istanbul. He plans to complete his thrill filled “Tour de Turkey in two years time.
Born to a poor family in a remote village of Mardin (Turkey), Abdulahalim is the second of 9 siblings. With no tradition of education in his family, he struggled to start schooling with great difficulties, particularly after migrating from his village due to security reasons.
He financed his life and studies by working in various fields, he managed to graduate from the Manas University in Kyrgyzstan in 2013. His whole academic life was punctuated with long gaps due to financial difficulties. However he never lost hope and continued moving ahead.
His love for bicycling started when he was a student. He was 22 then. He started going out for long adventurous tours on his bicycle, whenever he could get sufficient time for that. But he wanted to do something big, something different, something more adventurous and thrilling.
In the year 2014 he came up with the idea of travelling the whole of Turkey on his bicycle. In theory, the idea of visiting 81 provinces and 800 districts by bicycle, was fantastic, but in practicality it was not too easy, particularly for Abdulhalim who was not having sufficient financial resources for this big adventure. However, he decided not to look back and to go after it.
It took him four years to work out the details of his tour, and to arrange for the necessary equipment. He joined different associations involved in cycling. This helped him to have a better understanding of the whole adventure on one hand and to come in contact with people in different parts of the country, involved and interested in bicycling one way or another.
As I am writing these lines, Abdulhalim is completing the second month of his adventure. Starting from the western side of Turkey, he has so far completed a big portion of the far western part of Turkey. He has been through some very tough days and nights, particularly due to cold and snow. At times he had to stop for a day or more due to weather conditions.
However, it is not easy to continue such a big adventure without sufficient financial support. His daily adventure involves not just bicycling, but also to find places to stay at night, and to have food. Luckily in most of the cases he has succeeded in coming across people who have helped him by arranging his board and lodging.
However, continuing such a big thrilling adventure, under such tough and difficult conditions is not so easy. Over the time he has succeeded in raising his followers through frequent sharing of his videos on Facebook and Youtube, to keep them involved with his experiences on a daily basis. He believes that with the increase in the number of his followers, he would be able to come in contact with more and more people, which would in turn make things easy for him.