Large bridge may be named after Erdoğan
ISTANBUL - Agence France-Presse
The Nissibi will be Turkey’s third largest bridge after completion in March. AA Photo.The Turkish authorities are planning to name a major new bridge across the Euphrates River in the southeast of the country after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, daily Hürriyet’s columnist Vahap Munyar reported on Feb. 6.
The spectacular cable bridge, which is expected to open in March this year, is one of the most ambitious engineering projects underway in modern Turkey and is over half a kilometer long.
If confirmed, the bridge would be the most important structure that Erdoğan has given his name to, amid complaints from critics of a growing cult of personality in the country.
“Our citizens have insistently expressed the wish for the bridge to be named after our respected president,” Transport Minister Lütfi Elvan was quoted as saying.
“We will pass this [idea] on to our president. We think it is suitable if he agrees to have the bridge named ‘Recep Tayyip Erdoğan,’” he added.
Erdoğan, who has dominated Turkey for over a decade, first as prime minister and now as president, has been seeking to etch his name into Turkish history with a series landmark engineering projects.
The authorities are planning a massive third airport in Istanbul and Elvan himself has previously suggested it could be named the Recep Tayyip Erdoğan International Airport (RTE).
Erdoğan has already given his name to several facilities in Turkey, including a university in the Black Sea city of Rize and a stadium in Istanbul. However the new bridge would be by far the biggest project to bear his name so far.
The bridge crosses at a point where the river forms the Lake Atatürk Dam, one of Turkey’s great engineering projects of the 1980s and named after the founder of the modern secular state Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.