In order to show people around the world what women can do and draw attention to women’s issues in Turkey, especially the problem of psychological pressures- Asil Özbay of Istanbul Gedik University’s Faculty of Sports Sciences has launched a project titled “One Woman, One Motorcycle, 10 Countries.” Her aim is to raise awareness to the domestic violence that Turkish women are experiencing while drawing a portrait of an independent and courageous woman. Özbay sees herself as a young woman who will break out from her identity as a young academic and become free with her motorcycle.
Özbay ride will expand over 20-day’s and around 8,000-kilometers – a solo adventure on her motorcycle. Her ride will cover Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Slovenia, Serbia, Kosova, and will end at Bulgaria.
“The number of domestic violence cases against women increases every day. Every step that will help to raise awareness on this issue counts. This project aims to draw attention to the violence against women while showing the world that there are no boundaries for what women can do,” Özbay said. Stressing that female homicide, the restriction of women’s rights and the obligation of women to have their guard up at all times are the bleeding wounds of Turkey, she said: “The project ‘One Woman, One Motorcycle, 10 Countries’ came into being in order to draw attention to this wound. The media uses passive and powerless female images in contrast to images of the powerful and active male. As women are usually positioned within the frame of these images, they are scarcely seen as individuals who have authority or high social status. I want to create a powerful portrait for women in the Turkish media through the project I have launched. Turkey has to cover a very long distance until its women are free. I aim to make an image of an independent and courageous woman visible though my cross-country journey with my motorcycle.”
Born in 1985, Özbay has been riding a motorcycle for 10 years. The young academic is also a paragliding pilot and interested in extreme sports and photography. Daily Sabah spoke with her before she sets off on her adventure.
Özbay also said, with her project, she aims to show how women’s limits are boundless, and they can succeed in whatever they put their minds to, however difficult they are.