Turkish mega projects unaffected by coup attempt, says minister
ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
AA photoThere has been no disruption to Turkey’s major infrastructure projects following the July 15 coup attempt, Transport Minister Ahmet Arslan said Aug. 17.
“If possible, they will be finished earlier,” the minister told Anadolu Agency, denying that there had been any technical or financial obstacles to finishing the country’s mega projects which include Istanbul’s third airport, a finance center and the Kanal Istanbul artificial sea route.
“The third airport project was financed despite a liquidity problem... It is a notable success,” he said.
Arslan said the new airport should not solely be regarded as a transport hub: “Its added value to the country will be significant. Its capacity will reach 90 million people annually when the first phase is completed. After the second phase, the airport’s capacity will reach 200 million people per year.”
Arslan said the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) wanted to end these mega projects to prevent the country’s rapid economic growth and development.
“The main aims of the July 15 coup bid and other illegal attacks were to block Turkey from getting more share from world trade and having a voice in the economic area,” Arslan said.
Turkey’s government says the foiled putsch, which left 240 people dead and nearly 2,200 injured, was organized by followers of Gülen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999.
In 2015, Turkey announced seven projects totaling a record $44.7 billion according to data released by the World Bank Group’s Private Participation in Infrastructure Database.
The Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge will become the third bridge to span the Bosphorus strait, adding yet another link between Europe and Asia. Eight lanes of motorway and two lanes of railway will be located on the third bridge, which will be a product of professional engineering and advanced technology built by a team that mostly consists of Turkish engineers.
The Northern Marmara Motorway and the third bridge have an investment value of 4.5 billion Turkish Liras ($1.6 billion).
Istanbul’s third airport is under construction in the Arnavutköy district of Istanbul, on the city’s European side.
Kanal Istanbul is an artificial sea route that will be built parallel to the Bosphorus and will connect the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara.
The canal will provide relief to shipping traffic, particularly oil tanker traffic, passing through the Bosphorus.
The canal has a designed capacity of 160 vessels a day and is scheduled to be completed by 2023 at a cost of $15 billion.
The Istanbul Finance Center is aimed at developing the conditions required for Istanbul to become one of the leading financial centers of the world. The $2.6 billion project is integral to Turkey’s plan to make its economy one of the world’s 10 largest.
The center, which is expected to be completed by 2018, will house the head offices of the country’s financial market governing bodies, state-owned and private banks and related businesses. It will include 45 million square feet of office, residential, retail, conference, hotel and park space.