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VOA's 'Biker Girl' Riding High

Selin Unlu
Selin Unlu
To most of her colleagues, VOA journalist Selin Unlu is the steadfast anchor of the Turkish Service TV program, TGRT Live.

To motorcycling enthusiasts in Turkey, she is known as “Biker Girl,” which is also the title of her popular VOA blog.

Last month, the Turkish publication Moto Magazine, which is distributed throughout Europe, chatted with Biker Girl as part of a series that profiles famous motorcyclist personalities. The magazine kicked off the series with her three-part interview.

“It’s a little crazy to be considered a celebrity in the motorcycling community, and to have fans who simply know me as ‘Biker Girl’ (Motosikletli Kız in Turkish),” Selin said. “When I get press opportunities like this, it’s a great chance to cross-promote VOA Turkish programs beyond just my blog.”

Selin moved to the United States from Istanbul five years ago to work at VOA. One of the very first purchases she made stateside was a gray Suzuki Burgman motorcycle, the same exact make and model she rode for many years in Turkey. To her, it was a piece of home.

She turned her personal hobby into a professional endeavor in 2010, when she launched Biker Girl on the VOA Turkish website.

“Motorcycling is very popular in Turkey, and many have lifelong dreams of coming to America to ride on the famed Route 66,” Selin said. “I can give them an idea of what it’s like to ride here -- the rules, the tips -- and also discuss American culture through my experiences on the road.”

Along with the blog, Selin has a Biker Girl YouTube channel where she posts videos of her trips across America and visits to motorcycle shows. Her videos have garnered nearly 90,000 views so far. Selin also makes audio recordings all of her blog entries, and many of her fans back home still recognize her voice from her radio and TV career in Turkey.

“You can easily listen to Selin’s voice instead of drinking a calming herbal tea before going to bed,” wrote one Biker Girl fan. Biker Girl followers are also posting comments about her work ‘off the bike,’ as they say, including her anchoring chores on TGRT Live. “It is obvious that you love your job so much and that’s why we watch you. You put a soul in news, you put yours (soul) in what you do,” one fan wrote.

“The feedback from my Biker Girl blog followers means a lot to me,” Selin said. “It’s fun to read about their journeys on the road that they share with me, and relay my own experiences as well.”