Security directorate bans police vehicles from crossing Istanbul bridges amid price dispute
İsmail Saymaz – ISTANBUL
REUTERS photoThe Istanbul Security General Directorate has banned police vehicles from crossing the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge over the Bosphorus and the Osmangazi Bridge on the Marmara Sea, amid a dispute with construction companies on applying tolls to police vehicles.
“Our vehicles that use the Yavuz Sultan Selim and Osmangazi bridges will now have to use alternative roads. Toll and traffic tickets will not be paid from our budget,” a memo issued by Istanbul deputy police commissioner Seylan Demir stated on Dec. 6.
The ban, which also includes official cars, came after the companies that constructed the two bridges demanded police vehicles paid the crossing fee, unlike before.
The crossing toll for the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge ranges from 9.90 Turkish Liras to 49.30 liras, while the fee for the Osmangazi Bridge is 88.75 liras.
The Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge, the newly-opened third bridge over the Bosphorus, has eight road lanes and two rail tracks, and is the longest suspension bridge with a railway system in the world. It is 1.4 kilometers (0.9 mile) in length and 59 meters in width.
The Osmangazi Bridge connects the Marmara provinces of Kocaeli and Yalova, and is named after the founder and the first sultan of the Ottoman Empire. It is the fourth-longest suspension bridge in the world and the second longest in Europe.