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LOCAL > Istanbul’s massive metro project Marmaray makes first test run under the Bosphorus

ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News

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Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan boarded the train a few minutes after his opening speech, where he highlighted the need for “new steps” for Istanbul’s ever-growing capacity.  AA photo

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan boarded the train a few minutes after his opening speech, where he highlighted the need for “new steps” for Istanbul’s ever-growing capacity. AA photo

Istanbul’s massive Marmaray Metro Project finally conducted its first test run Aug.4, with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan praising Istanbul’s latest mode of transportation while attending the test drive ceremony before boarding the train at Kazlıçeşme.

The wagons, which were previously housed at the Sirkeci train station, had been brought to the tunnel several days before as the train conducted test runs with sand bags loaded on its coaches ahead of the prime minister’s attendance.

Erdoğan boarded the train a few minutes after his opening speech, where he highlighted the need for “new steps” for Istanbul’s ever-growing capacity.

“Istanbul can’t respond to needs anymore. Our transportation limitations are severe. Then we take different precautions. We will have to make things in different parts of Istanbul, perhaps go down another level – maybe two, three levels. Istanbul cannot handle 15 million people anymore. We need these precautions,” the prime minister said.

Erdoğan added that the project was “the dream of 150 years.”

“Our ancestors worked on [the project]. It fell to us to realize it,” Erdoğan said.

The first ever Marmaray ride was conducted by the prime minister himself, who proceeded towards the front of the train to direct it. The train, under Erdoğan’s control, passed under the Bosphorus several minutes later.

Nine billion in cost

The trains are scheduled to leave from Ayrılıkçeşme on the Asian side, but it is not clear whether they will complete the entire 13.6-kilometer track to Kazlıçeşme on the European side. Officials will also begin to test possible crash scenarios in September.

Two different lines of speed trains will soon be joined into the Marmaray route, rounding up to a massive 63 kilometers transportation course through the city. The total cost with the combined projects will reach 9 billion Turkish Liras.

Each of the stations will be decorated with a different theme, according to Anadolu agency. Over 13,000 meters of tunnels are included in the project.

The Marmaray Metro project has dominated public debate for years now, and is known to have the complete support of Erdoğan, who said the opening ceremony would take place on Oct. 29, the country’s Republic Day.

The biggest obstacle to the project’s completion has been the discovery of 40,000 artifacts at Yenikapı. The artifacts were removed with the assistance of the Transportation Ministry and other state authorities, but were then put into depots due to budget constraints.

The discoveries enraged Erdoğan, who said, “First [they said] there was archaeological stuff, then it was clay pots, then this, then that. Is any of this stuff more important than people?”

August/04/2013

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READER COMMENTS

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mara mcglothin

8/6/2013 4:12:50 PM

AMERICAN Surely you jest!!! The Turkish economy is perfect and getting better everyday, thanks singlehandedly to RTE! Turkey is not reliant on anyone, and doesn't need business with any other country. It is an island in a sea of economic woes:)

Çılgın Kanarya

8/6/2013 2:51:52 AM

JOBS JOHN, my comment was supposed to be funny, so if it was indeed so amusing as to make a die hard Islamist like you laugh, I am truly honoured, as the average Islamist isn't exactly renowned for his sense of humour!

american american

8/5/2013 11:31:06 PM

memsie, did you ever stop to think that maybe those previous 80 years sown the fruits you are reaping now? this sliding economy that you are beginning to feel is the result of akp's policies.

Reader fromEurope

8/5/2013 11:19:36 PM

Hey Mehmet, 80 years of CHP rule? Have you ever seen a history book? Have you ever heard about Menderes, Özal, Yılmaz, Demirel? Do you think they belonged to the CHP?

Mehmet Turk

8/5/2013 3:22:45 PM

Such pathetic comments bashing RTE. Atleast he is bringing Investment, jobs and infrastructure to Turkey. Compare that to eighty years of robbery, pillaging, hyperinflation, bankruptcy and IMF loans under CHP rule. Short memory peoples? I guess many of you prefer living in the 3rd world.

Leri Block

8/5/2013 1:06:51 PM

The first ever Marmaray ride was conducted by the prime minister himself, who proceeded towards the front of the train to direct it. The train, under Erdoğan’s control, passed under the Bosphorus several minutes later. Soooo... we see that the PM has finally found the level of his competence. I think he will be most happy in this conductor's job, being in total control, steering his conveyance down a narrow and unswerving path. And that it is confined to these stops... and UNDER the water.

Mark Tak

8/5/2013 12:36:13 PM

erdogan didnt build this people of Turkey did. with credit and money he takes al the credit, he is such a joke

Jobs jon

8/5/2013 12:28:45 PM

Most comments made here are laughable and I really enjoyed them. RTE-bashing goes on and clearly shows how many people who make comments are jealous of him, Turkish people and Turkish rise. Of course RTE cares about people that is why he does such big projects to make everybody’s life easier, of course there are rail engineers who are conducting the test. I rest my case folks.

Richard Wyatt

8/5/2013 7:31:12 AM

Üsküdar to Kazlıçeşme.... handy for those AKP rallies.

Çılgın Kanarya

8/4/2013 11:44:50 PM

If only there was another stop along the Marmaray line for Erdoslam to disembark at ... Like right in the middle of the Bosphorus!
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