Wednesday, 3 February 2010

News flashes!

UNESCO has announced that 2011 will be 'The Year of Evliya Celebi'! Our man lived from 1611-c.1683, and we reiterated in many press interviews during our Evliya Celebi Ride that 2011 should be his year. We hope we might have contributed to the decision to honour Evliya with a 400th anniversary.

You too can now book to ride part of the Evliya Celebi Way with Ercihan and his fantastic horses in September 2010. Go to, then click on Great Anatolian Ride, and then click again at the bottom of that page for itinerary details.

The British Council have chosen to work with us on Evliya as a key figure for their Our Shared Europe programme,, in collaboration with Maslaha and the Young Foundation, and

Sponsorship is now being sought for the second Evliya Celebi Ride, a 2011 'Turkey-Syria Friendship Ride' from Gazientep to Aleppo and the environs of Urfa. The expedition will produce a Guidebook to the route and a documentary film as well as scholarly and pedagogical writing.

Further works in progress by the Evliya Celebi Ride and Way group to commemorate Evliya in 2011 and after:

* a guidebook to the 2009 route of our Ride for riders, walkers, and cyclists, the English version to be published by Upcountry (Turkey) Ltd (
* an illustrated academic book, Evliya Celebi's Way: Expedition and Re-enactment, authored by Mac, Caroline, Leyla, Andy, and Donna, on what re-enactment as a mode of research can teach us from different disciplinary perspectives, edited by Donna Landry, University of Kent, and Gerald MacLean, University of Exeter, UK
* a documentary film about the 2009 expedition and Evliya, introducing the first Evliya Celebi Way trekking route
* an illustrated oral history of horsefolk of Western Anatolia, recording the stories of people who have lived and worked with horses in their everyday lives in the past and continue to do so in the present, edited by Leyla Neyzi, Sabanci University, Istanbul
* obtaining permissions and sponsorship for the 2011 'Turkey-Syria Friendship Ride' to mark the renewal of warm relations between these two countries and the open borders familiar to Ottoman travellers
* a documentary film based on the 2011 Ride

Watch These Spaces!
* a report by Donna to the Long Riders' Guild is online at
* an interview with Caroline about plans for the 2011 Ride has appeared in Hurriyet Daily News:
* Ercihan and Susan have prepared a riding tour on a 10-day stretch of our 2009 route, from north of Iznik to Kutahya; the first tourists may ride the Evliya Way in September 2010; see for 'Great Anatolian Ride'
* Mac and Donna are working with the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism, London Office, and Redmint Communications on promoting future Evliya Rides and generating media interest
* Caroline, Tricia, and Donna have written a Diary of the 2009 Ride to appear in a forthcoming issue of Cornucopia magazine
* Caroline is preparing a piece on the Ride for the Royal Asiatic Society, to appear in the next issue
* Caroline is endeavouring to raise further Turkish sponsorship, and has already visited Gazientep for this purpose; one-third of the budget for the 2011 Ride has now been promised; we welcome futher contributions from sponsors.