World Bulletin / News Desk
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday it is time to make Turkey a leading transportation hub with new megaprojects.
“Now, with a third airport, Canal Istanbul and other megaprojects, it is time to make Turkey a world leader in transportation,” Erdogan said on Twitter.
His statement came after his aircraft made the first-ever landing at Istanbul’s new colossal airport which is expected to formally open to air traffic on Oct. 29.
The city’s third airport -- 90 percent of which is already completed -- will be the world's biggest project built from scratch once it is completed in 2023.
Meanwhile, the Canal Istanbul Project, an artificial sea-level waterway that will connect the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara and the Mediterranean, is also planned to be completed by 2023.
Erdogan also noted that several other transportation projects have been completed during his Justice and Development (AK) Party’s rule.
“In 16 years [of AK Party rule], we have connected our cities with each other and our country with the world by implementing transportation projects,” he added.
The Twitter post also included an infographic with details on the development of Turkey’s air transport system.
According to the infographic, the new international airport in Istanbul will have a 200-million passenger capacity once all its sections are completed in 2025.
In 2002, Turkey had 26 airports, which the AK Party government increased to 55 in 2017, Erdogan noted.
Moreover, the number of international destinations rose to 237 in 2017 from 60 in 2002, according to the infographic.
The total number of air passengers also increased to 193 million from 34 million in 2002, including 109 million domestic passengers from 8 million and 83 million overseas passengers from 25 million.
It also outlined that Turkey will open nine new airports by 2022. The airport in Cukurova will be operational in 2019, the Rize-Artvin, Cesme and Tokat airports in 2020, airports in Karaman, Yozgat and Bayburt in 2021 and another airport in Western Antalya will be opened in 2022.
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