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    Free bikes to take a tour around Yalova

    Anatolian Agency
    22.04.2009 - 00:00 | Son Güncelleme: 21.04.2009 - 18:01

    YALOVA - Yalova Municipality has started to rent out bicycles for free to visitors who want to tour the city.

    Yalova Mayor Yakup Koçal, who was elected in the latest local elections, restarted the "yellow bicycle practice," which he started during his first mayoral term between 1999 and 2004.

    "First we put into service 50 bicycles. If they want, visitors in our city can tour around by bicycle. If there is demand we can increase the number of bicycles," Koçal said, adding that Yalova residents like to ride bikes. Koçal said many liked the project during his former term.

    The bicycles have been set up in Cumhuriyet Square. People can take a bike for free by filling out a form and leaving an ID.

    Meanwhile, Hayrettin Karaca, the honorary head of the Turkish Foundation for Reforestation, Protection of Natural Habitats and Combating of Soil Erosion, or TEMA, said Atatürk Arboretum in Yalova is under hypothec because of the debts of Yalova Municipality.

    Arboretum in danger
    Karaca held a press meeting after visiting Mayor Koçal in his office to celebrate his local election victory. "The municipality, around six or seven months ago, moved the arboretum area from the status of green field area to tourism facility area. There was an assembly decision on this issue and it was re-categorized again because of debts. Now this arboretum is under the threat of confiscation," Karaca said. He also said he was not informed of who the creditors were.

    The arboretum has 390 species of plants and trees, said Karaca.

    Koçal confirmed that the former municipality administration turned the area into a tourism area. The municipality owes debts both to the public and private sectors, Koçal said. "We will do what we have to do after we examine the issue," he said.
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