Sky no longer the limit for ‘New Turkey’: Istanbul to launch air rail system
ISTANBULAfter completing the underground railway Marmaray connecting Istanbul’s European and Asian sides - a public transportation project dubbed the “project of the century” by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan - and with the third bridge and airport construction ongoing, the sky is now the limit for Istanbul.
But wait… Even the sky may no longer be the limit, as the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality has announced a new tender for eight separate air rail projects (Havaray), planned to link together a number of neighborhoods.
The project will initially include eight lines – four on each continent – both in central and suburban areas of Turkey’s largest metropolis. The first line is planned between the remote suburbs of Kartal and Tuzla along the Asian coast of the Marmara Sea.
Other lines will connect the vibrant districts Beyoğlu and Şişli, as well as Beşiktaş and Sarıyer, on the European side. The business center of 4th Levent will be linked to the nearby neighborhoods of Gültepe and Çeliktepe, which have only been connected by bus up to now. Another major line will be built between the populous residential Asian districts of Ataşehir and Ümraniye.
Plans for the new transportation system were revealed back in 2011 by Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş, who suggested that disseminated short air rails could be a cheap and practical solution to reduce the need to extend the metro system in certain areas.
Tender on February
The tender for the Tuzla-Kartal line is set to be held on Feb. 2. The municipality will require the bidder to complete the project within 240 days.
The mayor of Tuzla, where a marina combined with a shopping center is also planned to be built, has expressed huge enthusiasm for the air rail project, describing as a “milestone” for the city.
Reports in the Turkish media have speculated that land prices in the district would double after the project formally kicks off.
With the air rail project on its way, the municipality is now set to focus on turning the cableway projects over the Bosphorus into reality. Two separate lines are planned: The first between the upmarket European neighborhood of Etiler and the hill of Çamlıca on the Anatolian side, where a huge mosque is currently under construction following Erdoğan’s proposal. A second line is being considered to link the northern Bosphorus districts of Sariyer and Beykoz.