Türkiye'de BMX'in Sesi! | Voice of BMX in Turkey!

APRIL 2016


BMX TR       : Dear BMX TR followers, while BMX TR is experiencing their first fair in Euro Asia Bicycle Fair, Turkey Flatland Champion Murat Özdemir is here with us. He was kind enough to accept our invitation to make this interview and support us in the fair, so he flew all the way from Adana to Istanbul for this event.  Welcome Murat!




M.Ö.                : Thank you BMX TR, I have brought you the heat of Adana for you! This summer many good things will happen!

BMX TR           : Murat, of course we know you well and we are in contact for a long time, but in order to introduce yourself to the new BMX’ers, would you please tell us where you are from, how old you are and for how long you are riding?

M.Ö.                : I am 30, I have been riding for 10 years in Flatland discipline. For the last 6 years I am a professional.

BMX TR           : We have a traditional question in BMX TR interviews. How did you start BMX, is there a story about it? And another traditional question is do you remember your first BMX and how did you buy it?

M.Ö.                : My first encounter with bicycles goes years back in time before I started school. I grew up in my father’s motorcycle-bicycle repair workshop but I had no relation with BMX until I finished the college. There is Incirlik Air Base in Adana and before the war the American soldiers used to ride or skate with their families in the down town. We were very impressed and influenced by this as Adana’s young people. I bought my first BMX-a second hand Diamond Back from American 2nd hand Bazaar and found myself in Atatürk Park.


                                                                                                     First BMX

My first trick was Bunny Hop. I was suddenly welcomed by other riders in the park. At the time they used to come from other cities to buy BMX bikes. Here is Çukurova, it is a very flat place, best BMX’es were here so we had to ride well...  At the beginning my family was opposed to riding, except my mother. I remember myself riding from dusk till down without sleep many times in summers. Just to be able to ride a bit more... Elder guys coming from Gaziantep were riding in a different style. This is how I first met Flatland. Legacy from Incirlik Air Base pushed us into this...

BMX TR                :
 Why Flatland? Are you riding Flatland from the very first day or did you try the other disciplines like street, park etc., then decided on Flatland?

M.Ö.                     : Before Flatland I rode street for 1 year. Actually Flatland bikes looked sexier to me. Haha this is a joke, since my childhood, metals with extraordinary designs have attracted me, especially Titanium. And once you add beautiful designs to metals, it is inevitable to fall in love with bicycles. I even had a handmade BMX manufactured.


Why Flatland? Because in my opinion Flatland is more free, it has 4 pegs and you can go for 4 million positions. This enables you to create your own style. I also ride street and park. In fact I am against separating disciplines from Freestyle BMX. I see BMX as a whole.

BMX TR                :
Today when we look at Turkey, Adana seems to be one of the most important cities in BMX. We know that many important athletes are from Adana. What is the secret of Adana?

M.Ö.                     : Geopolitical and geographical location of Adana, its sun, its accessibility and its people are very suitable for this sport. The rest is riding!

BMX TR                : Murat, what do you think about BMX’s place today in Turkey? Do you think it has the place that it deserves? When we look at the rest of the developed countries, and the resources of the riders,  how do you see Turkey? Do you think there is enough support for BMX in Turkey?

M.Ö.                     : There is a big rise in BMX in Turkey for the last 6 years. There are many talented riders. I think in near future Turkey will have a remarkable place in BMX. As BMX TR you are also doing good things, you are a right address for the new beginners. Yes I think BMX is in the place that it has to be. Street and Park is very popular, we even have a Red Bull athlete. However Flatland does not have enough popularity. BMX TR has the greatest support to flatland. Of course also Red Bull is a big supporter. As long as there is competency, there will be support.


BMX TR                : Despite all difficulties, you set up your life based on BMX. What does Skateparkur mean and how did you establish it? Was it an easy decision for you to make BMX a profession rather than a hobby or daily sport? What kind of difficulties are you experiencing?

M.Ö.               : Yes, now BMX for me is a sport, a life style and a commercial tool. We added the Turkish word “parkur” to the end of word “skate” so we created a new Turkish word. It was a huge financial challenge for me to set up Skateparkur. It was crazy to spend all my money for this just before marriage. I am not even calling it a risk. But still I will be more than happy if I can train some good athletes. Skateparkur is a first and biggest step for Turkish BMX. We have a sponge pool and tens of riders managed to do backflips here. In the meantime I am working as BMX trainer for Seyhan Municipality. We are setting up a BMX infrastructure here. We can see the future with Sportif Seyhan. When we see a different sport in Olympics we always whine why we don’t have an athlete. I am certain in the future different disciplines of BMX will be in Olympics and we will be prepared for it!  Of course like in every business there are difficulties but despite all problems I love BMX and I am working for the sport and the riders.


BMX TR       : You showed up in some talent contests as a team. As BMX TR we find this very useful and important for the introduction and promotion of the sport. Although the result was not the 1st place in these contests we believe you have made a remarkable contribution to BMX. After these contests in the national televisions did you observe a noticeable change in the sport? What kind of reactions did you get? Would you please tell us about the process?

M.Ö.                     : “
Yetenek Sizsiniz” contests were great experiences for me and my rider friends. It was our first TV experience. Being in front of the cameras, the jury, the atmosphere and a huge audience makes one very excited. We participated the contests for 4 seasons, in 2015 we were semi-finalists. We tried things which were not tried before; we integrated BMX with modern dance, we prepared different concepts and etc. If we made slightest contribution to the sport, we would be more than happy. We receive messages from young riders who tell us that they started riding because of us which makes us happy.

BMX TR                : We know that you got married quite recently. As BMX TR we would like to congratulate your marriage. We imagine your wife is supporting you in your life style and BMX. What we want to know is how was your wife’s approach to your life style in the beginning?

M.Ö.               : Thank you! I have all her support from the beginning. Besides I first met her on a BMX. She is very patient with me; she has always helped me with my trainings. She keeps a list of my tricks and when I achieve a new trick she ticks that trick on the list. She knows all the trick names; even this shows how much she loves me.


BMX TR                :
How should the lifestyle of a rider be whose focus is succes?

M.Ö.                     : If you love BMX then you have to be determined, you have to follow a training method periodically, you will not surrender when you fall, you will stand up and continue. If you want success you have to be revolutionary. Your nutrition is important; you have to be careful in liquid consumption during sport.

BMX TR                : Is there a rider that you take as a role model with his talent and life style?

M.Ö.               : Yes there is. Viki Gomez travels with his wife, wins contests, to be honest I envy him when I follow him..

BMX TR                : You participated some worldwide contests. One of them was BMX Worlds. You are also competing in Master of Creativity organized by Viki Gomez, Martty Kuoppa and Effraim Catlow. Flatland is a discipline which requires huge concentration and care in order not to make a mistake under the psychology of the contest pressure. Would you tell us about the psychological aspect of the sport?

M.Ö.                     : Yes I got 25th place in BMX Worlds and now am competing in Master of Creativity; online Flatland video contest. I hope I will be in the first three. This sport requires good concentration. You have to be “complete” in all aspects both psychically and psychologically. The condition of the ground is also very important. In Worlds I was over excited because it was my first experience. If you don’t have a strong state of mind it is not possible to be successful.


BMX TR                :
Murat, what are your dreams about BMX? Where do you see yourself in the future?

M.Ö.                     : This is a very good question. I am asking to myself from time to time too. I want World Championship. I want to travel all around the world with my bicycle and my wife, compete in contests, get to know different cultures and taste different cuisines.

BMX TR                : Many young people want to start riding BMX. Have you got a message for them?

M.Ö.                     : The more riders the more progress in BMX. My advice is, lack of knowledge, difficulties of the tricks, difficulties of having a good bike, pressure from your family and society should not make you surrender. I assure young people that I have experienced all those difficulties. Secondly, ride but feel the philosphy of the sport. Have good friendships with fellow riders, don’t show your envy, live your competition inside yourselves. Thirdly, good riders either used or are still using brakes!!!


As training method;

  • Before riding do some warming up,
  • Divide your tricks into parts and exercise them periodically,
  • If you believe in what you are going to do, never let anyone to stop you,
  • Eat good, consume liquids,
  • Set targets.

BMX TR                : These are really good advices. What was the most important thing that BMX gave you? Are there things that would not exist in your life if there was no BMX?

M.Ö.                     : There is no doubt that Flatland made me a sophisticated person. I gained some virtues in life thanks to BMX; Patience, Loyalty, Kindness, Proficiency, Creativity, Believing, Loving and Respectful. What more to say? If I didn’t get to know Flatland I would still do another job well but if there was no BMX, I wouldn’t have my friends around, I wouldn’t have my ideals my travels and I wouldn’t discover my strength. That is why I love the place I am now.

BMX TR                : Lastly, would you briefly tell us what you think about BMX TR?

M.Ö.               : First of all, I would like to thank you for supporting to the sport. You brought all BMX enthusiasts in Turkey under one roof. Thanks to you now the young generation knows the history of BMX in Turkey and people out of Turkey know more about BMX in Turkey. Thanks to you I am still learning many things about BMX. I hope with the trend BMX TR started new trends start all over the world like BMX FR, BMX UK, BMX JP etc. I am wishing BMX TR a long term success.


BMX TR                : Dear Murat, we are also very happy to know you. You have made many valuable statements in this interview and very precious advices for young riders. Especially your advices about ego, competition and discipline are very important. In our opinion Turkey is very lucky to have a talented and humble Flatland champion like you. As BMX TR we wish you success and best of luck. Also huge thanks to your wife Aslıhan Özdemir for her support to you on behalf of Turkish BMX. We wish she ticks many more flatland tricks those of which were never tried by another rider before ever!