Recai Karaca Pak of Germany hit the road last year to fight racism, Islamophobia faced by Muslims, Turks in Europe.
A Turkish man living in Germany has been pedalling his bike in various parts of the world since 2020 to raise awareness of the scourges of racism and hate crimes against Muslims.
Recai Karaca Pak says it was the discomfort that he felt over the media reports that target Muslims and Turks in Europe that led him to embark on this journey.
The 47-year-old engineer hit the road in August last year and reached Turkey in the sixth week of his journey.
Pak said there is a smear media campaign against Muslims and Turks in Europe.
“This situation opens the door to racism. I jumped on my bike to raise awareness and set off from Europe to Turkey. I travelled to many European countries and told people that the propaganda against Muslims was wrong,” he said.
“Europeans that know Muslims are not against them, we have fraternal relations with them. But those who do not know Muslims keep a distance because of the media propaganda,” he explained.
“I want to show our humanity and character to those who do not know us,” he added.
Highlighting extend of racism
Pak said Muslims face racism and encounter difficulties in finding a job or renting an apartment in many places, adding mosques face over 400 attacks a year.
"The solution is to introduce and express ourselves,” Pak said, noting that he wanted to inform the whole world about being a Turk, as well as about the Turkish culture and the extent of racism against Turks and Muslims.
Saying that he will go to Mongolia from Turkey by plane and then return to Turkey on his bicycle, Pak added: “I plan to travel nearly 14,000 kilometres by cycling to the places of our ancestors."
"We will put up a sign against all kinds of racism wherever we go. Many people will accompany me on this journey,” he said.