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

I was born in 1970 in Australia's Balmain, Sydney into a working class family. I really wanted a bike because I loved bikes, but unfortunately we couldn't afford one as our financial situation was not very good. One day in 1982, as we walked past a bike shop in Sydenham, my Dad slyly asked me which bike I liked and learned what I wanted. And that year on my birthday he had prepared a big surprise for me. He was working the night shift, and when I came home from school in the afternoon I couldn't believe my eyes! The bike (Malvern Star Mustang) that I wanted stood right in the middle of the lounge room with a note on it saying 'Happy Birthday!' I could not believe it. It was a pitch black bike with shock absorbers. I felt on top of the world. Even now, my eyes are filled with tears as I am telling you this. I could never forget this surprise by my father. I want to thank my dear Dad here once again.

I had my bike now. The seasons are reversed there and my birthday is in September. For those who may not know, since Australia is in the Southern Hemisphere, the climate is inverted compared to here. While it is winter over here, it is summer in Australia. It was the ideal time for cycling. I would meet with friends from the neighborhood and we would ride our bikes for long distances. Unlike Istanbul, the area consisted mostly of detached houses. Roads and gardens were well suited for cycling. Therefore it was easier to travel the distances. I will never forget my accident with this first bike that I owned. Of course I was a beginner then, didn't know anything like the bunnyhop. My friends put up a little ramp and told me to jump. Of course, I didn't even pull up the front or anything and rolled over when I landed. That went down in history as my first accident (laughs). At that time, there were no PC's in the house and there were only coin-op arcade machines in the fish & chip shop to play games. I used to go there to play Pacman, Galaga, Donkey Kong Jr etc. At that time, that was the only source of entertainment. One day, I went there and placed my bike so that I could see the tip of the wheel at side of the door as I was playing. My mind was preoccuppied with the bike outside, but I couldn't leave the game either. At some stage, I got so much into the game that it took me a while to notice the wheel had disappeared. I immediately ran outside. A blond-haired bastard was quickly getting away on my bike. I ran after him but I could not catch up. My bike was literally stolen right in front of my eyes. I went back home without it. My dad was very angry. He rightfully told me that he would never buy me another bike, and the worst part was that we had to pay the installments of the stolen bike for a year. Now that was really fun. I had to work and save money to buy a new bike. In those days, we would wash the cars of neighbours to make some money to go to the movies. I thought I'd save money by washing more cars and washed hundreds of cars for a year. I collected individual pieces for my first BMX with the money I had saved. I bought alloy Araya rims, Redline Flight 3pc cranks, Diamondback forks etc. All except the cranks were brand new. I washed a lot of cars during that year (laughs).

Because of my father's job, we moved from Guildford to the district of Leichardt. That's where I was introduced into a whole new world. Because the nearby Five Docks had a concrete skate park. There were terrific riders there. I only knew some ground moves at that time. But they were doing aerials in the pool reaching 5-6 feet into the air. There were guys with great bikes. Hutch, SE Racing, Trickster etc. I improved myself there big time. I was getting very good at kick turns and such.

As we always visited Turkey every summer, the beauty of this place had captivated me and as a 15-year-old, I decided to go live in Turkey on my own. Both my grandmas lived here at the time. I came here and started to live with them while my parents were still in Australia. The only thing I brought with me was my BMX. I had dismantled all the pieces to fit it into a suitcase. But I also had a skateboard, and a remote-controlled car that wouldn't fit. But the most valuable thing for me was my BMX. I couldn't part with the magazines that I'd brought from Australia and my BMX. At that time, the first freestyle GTs were out, and everybody was after this BMX model. So I asked my father for a GT. He brought a GT Pro Performer from Australia for me, the very first GT in Turkey. It was snow white. It only had a frame, fork, handle bar and a layback post. I joined the GT with my own parts. What I remember best is the difficulty I had removing the Redline flight cranks from my old bicycle without damaging the sealed bearings, and installing them on the GT. It was challenging work but it looked terrific in the end. I was doing moves, jumping up and down in the streets of Bakırköy. People gathered around me and treated me like a circus freak. Police would arrive to clear the blocked street by stopping my show. These were very nice and special days.

I met Enver at the time but unfortunately I cannot remember in detail how we met. I remembered to a certain extent after reading Murat's story. We'd started riding with Murat. In fact, we were all children from different countries. Enver from England, Murat from Germany, and myself from Australia. Now looking back I see that importing this culture to Turkey had brought good energies with it. I recall meeting Sinan, Öge, Cenk, Boğaç and all that later on. I apologize to my friends whose names I could not recall.

Together we would ride on the tennis court in Ataköy 2. I was at the time very good at Miami hopper and cowboy moves. I'd sold my old Diamondback bike to Öge as you guys in bmxtr reminded me. I do not remember it all in detail. I think the most important development at the time was our hearing of the "Sana" (a margarine brand in Turkey) commercial shoot. We heard that they were after children who could do bike tricks. Enver and I immediately grabbed our BMX's and went there. We were there at the crack of dawn. We saw that there was a big queue and kids didn't know anything, they were doing silly moves like jumping of sidewalks. We waited there until the evening and still couldn't audition. Then they suddenly said the auditions were over. We got angry. So I said to Enver "let's do a few moves" and people freaked out when they saw us. They said "these are the kids we are after," and restarted the audition to pick us. You should have seen it. The children they picked earlier started crying, their parents got angry. It was a very strange atmosphere, but we had secured the job with our skills. Then we went to Bursa's Uludağ to shoot the advertisement for Sana. It took 2 days. Now after bmxtr was established, I read in the bios of some older riders that they started BMX after seeing us in this ad. This is a source of pride and joy for me. At that time BMX to me meant FREEDOM, ADRENALINE and FUN. I loved it, I was riding my bike all day long.  

I also had a passion for metal music in my life those days. I turned the garage-like place behind our house into a rehearsal studio with my musician friends. At that time there were no people who had private rehersal studios. We made pretty good music for the time and performed in concerts. Some people would have heard of us. Our band was called METAFOR. Of course, with me getting into music, BMX slipped into the background. I've always regretted selling to Enver that GT Pro Performer which I had lovingly collected. Afterwards, I quit riding completely.

And when we arrive at today, I see you guys at BMXTR doing good things, and I get pleasure from these too. Old school meetings, activities and other events. I'm always by your side, and now I want to provide some kind of support for the BMX sport which I always loved doing. Because I believe that success in these types of extreme sports and underground artistic activities brings more prestige to a country in the international arena.


There is a saying that I really love. In this country, those IN CHARGE are UNINFORMED, and those who are INFORMED are not IN CHARGE. But with the work you do, hopefully this saying will change. ;)