Organized with the support of the Turkish Embassy in Berlin under the auspices of the Republic of Turkey's Ministry for EU Affairs, the 11th Allgau-Orient Friendship and Peace Rally kicks off on April 30 in the Bavarian town of Oberstaufen. Approximately 600 rally drivers and more than 300 automobiles from 20 countries will cover 11,500 kilometers to promote peace. Participants will drive through Germany, Austria, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia and Bulgaria and then cross the border into Turkey. Drivers will pass through various provinces and districts in Turkey, and the rally will end in Dalyan/Muğla.
Allgau-Orient Friendship and Peace Rally Vice President Nadir Serin told Anadolu Agency (AA) that two-thirds of the rally will take place in Turkey and participants will drive from the west to the east of the country. Cars 20 years old and over are allowed to register for the rally, and the cars will be donated to the Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management Agency (AFAD) once the rally is over. Two Turkish teams will participate in the rally, and Turkey's Consul General to Cologne, Hüseyin Emre Engin, is the team captain.
Commenting on the route of the rally, which features some eastern provinces, Serin said, "Drivers should be able to see a great deal of natural beauty throughout Turkey. Turkey should be cherished, remembered not for negative things but for all its natural and historical treasures. The drivers who compete in the rally will serve as volunteer ambassadors for Turkey." Only 10 out of 600 drivers and co-drivers who competing in the rally are Turkish citizens, said Serin and added: "The participants are mostly from European countries. Just think about all these people speaking positively about Turkey and promoting our country."
YDA Dalaman Airport General Manager Hamdi Güvenç said that the rally is about friendship and social responsibility. "I believe that the rally will prove that Turkey is a secure country." Alphan Namlı, CEO of Royalcert A.Ş., who will represent Turkey in the rally, told AA that they would extend a helping hand to international participants, providing them with anything they need during the Turkey phase of the rally. He added: "We will show the competitors, support crews and spectators the historical, cultural and natural beauty of our country. I have to say that I am genuinely happy to be a part of this organization."