Ankara metro saga nears an end
AA photoAnkara’s 12-year underground construction saga drew closer to a happy ending on Aug. 31, when Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım and Ankara Metropolitan Mayor Melih Gökçek participated in a test run of the Keçioren metro project, after speaking to a cheering crowd.
“We’ve gathered in Keçiören Square for the first movement of the metro,” tweeted Gökçek, as Yıldırım addressed the crowd in front of the Keçiören Municipality building.
Saying that the day was a big one for Keçiören, Yıldırım added that “one step” was left for the opening of the metro, the construction of which started 12 years ago, when Gökçek was also the metropolitan mayor.
“These [metro constructions] are big efforts and big money for a municipality. I was a minister back then. Our president said, ‘Let’s finish the metro line as soon as possible and relieve Ankara and Ankara residents’ back then. The Keçiören metro will be finished at the end of the year. You have my word,” Yıldırım told the crowd.
The Keçiören metro line will be 9.2 kilometers long and have nine stations between the Atatürk Culture Center (AKM) and Keçiören.
During his speech, Yıldırım mentioned a social media joke regarding the length of the construction process of the metro, saying that social media users “should find another joke now.”
“There is a joke, ‘My darling, our love shall last forever, like the Keçiören metro. It shall last and never end.’ Now these young people making the joke should find another slogan. The Keçiören metro [construction] is nearing an end, but their love should not last and continue,” he said.
Yıldırım also provided news about the length of the metro, saying it would be extended to the city’s Çubuk district.
“We are extending the metro for 27 kilometers, to Çubuk. We are adding 3.5 kilometers from Atatürk Culture Center to Kızılay Square,” he also said.
Saying that the length of the rail system will reach a total of 64 kilometers when the construction of the Keçiören metro is done, Yıldırım noted that the total number of stations will be between 50 and 60.
“It will no longer be a suffering to go to central Ankara from Keçiören anymore. You will be in central Ankara in 15 to 16 minutes with joy. There will be no traffic, no heat, no torment but joy. Traveling will transform into pleasure. This suits Ankara, and you,” he added, while also praising the crowd for standing up against coup plotters during the July 15 failed seizure of the Turkish government.
“You were the ones who stood up against the traitors on July 15. Keçiören, the best service suits you,” he also said.
The prime minister also praised the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, saying that the government was one that had enabled Turkey to step into a new age and fit “immense services” into the 15 years since the AKP was founded.
“Because Turkey-lover, the founder of our party, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is leading the government,” he said.