Infrastructure Revolution

With numerous mega projects, Turkey is seeking to become one of the world’s top 10 economies.

Turkey, which aims to become one of the leading 10 economies of the world in a short time span, is carrying out a series of massive infrastructure and groundwork projects, each worth billions of dollars.

With nearly $200 billion investments over the past 15 years, Turkey is undergoing a quantum transformation.

Work has finished on several major construction projects, such as Marmaray, Ankara-Istanbul High Speed Train, and the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge, the Osman Gazi Bridge which will be the third bridge spanning the Bosphorus and linking the Asian and European continents.

Construction is continuing on a third international airport for Istanbul, the Istanbul-Izmir Highway, the Kars-Baku-Tbilisi Railroad, the three-story Grand Istanbul Tunnel Project. These are located along the main arteries of Istanbul-Ankara-Izmir, connecting the country’s industrial, commercial, trade and tourism regions and linking them to the world. Just as there are continuing major energy projects, including the nuclear power plant on the Mediterranean coast.

The Third Bosphorus Bridge

This is the world’s longest, widest and tallest rail and road suspension bridge combined. It will span the Bosphorus, a 30 km (20 mile) waterway which snakes through Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city, and separates the European and Asian continents.

Asia and Europe were first connected in Istanbul in 1973 with the opening of the Bosphorus Bridge. The Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge was constructed in 1988. The foundation for the third bridge over Istanbul’s Bosphorus, was laid on May 29, 2013, the 560th anniversary of the Turkish conquest of the city. Soon to open, the new bridge is named after Yavuz Sultan Selim, the ninth sultan of the Ottoman Empire and grandson of Fatih Sultan Mehmet, the conqueror of Istanbul.

Led by mainly Turkish engineers, an army of workers constructed the bridge in only three years. An engineering and high technology masterpiece, the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge has four motorway lanes and one railway line running in each direction and operating at the same level.

The Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge has set numerous global records for a combined rail and road suspension bridge. The 1,875 meter (3,281-foot) bridge is the world’s longest. It has the world’s widest deck at 59 meters (183 feet). Its main span (distance between the two towers) is 1,408 meters (4,619 feet), another world record. At 320 meters( 1,050 feet), its twin towers are the world’s highest for a combined suspension bridge.

Third Airport

Under construction on European side of the city near the Black Sea coast, Istanbul’s Third International Airport will have a capacity to serve 150 million passengers a year, once all the stages of construction have been completed. It will surpass Atlanta International Airport, which handled 101 million travelers, as the world’s biggest airport in terms of passengers served. Once fully completed, the airport will have 1.5 million square meters (16.146 square feet) of enclosed space, 165 passenger bridges, four separate terminal buildings connected by rail, three technical blocks, and eight air traffic control towers, six runways suitable for every type of aircraft 16 taxi routes, park capacity for 500 jetliners and 6.5 million square meters (64.584 million square feet) of aprons, and affiliated buildings.

The first stage of the project, with the main terminal building to serve 90 million passengers a year and runways, are scheduled to open in 2018.

Construction of the Third Airport will provide jobs for 100,000 people. Once the airport is fully operational, some 120,000 jobs are expected to be available.

The Turkish consortium Cengiz, Mapa, Limak, Kolin, Kalyon Joint Venture won the contract to build and operate the airport for a flabbergasting €22.152 million ($25.171 million) the highest amount offered for a single project in the history of the Turkish Republic.


A 14 km (8.7 mile) section of the 76.3 km (47.4 mile) Marmaray rail project connecting the European and Asian shores of Istanbul through a twin tube tunnel under the Bosphorus was completed and went into service on October 29, 2013, the 90th anniversary of the Turkish Republic

Some 5.5 (3.4 miles) section of the rail line, which opened, includes a 1.4 km (0.9 miles) tunnel crossing the Bosphorus. The section links Ayrilikçesmesi, on Asian side of the city, with Zeytinburnu, on the European side.

Once fully completed, Marmaray will connect Halkalı on the European side of the city with Gebze on the Asian side, vastly reduce travel time between the two continents and help relieve the metropolis of its growing traffic congestion. It is expected that 1 million commuters will use the rail line daily.

Construction work is being carried out by a consortium that includes Taisei Corp. of Japan and Gama and Nurol of Turkey, and more than $3 billion has already been spent on Marmaray so far. The project is being financed by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and the European Development Bank.

The Eurasia Tunnel

Construction work is completed in 2016 on the Istanbul Eurasia Tunnel, a motor vehicle road tube linking Asia and Europe under the Bosphorus. Located 300 meters (328 yards) south of Marmaray, the tunnel is reducing travel time between the two continents in Istanbul from 100 minutes to 15 minutes.

Turkey’s Yapı Merkezi and SK Engineering are constructing the Eurasia Tunnel, one of the world’s leading engineering projects, on a build-operate-transfer model. The total cost of the project is $1.3 billion.

The Eurasia Tunnel connecting the two shores of Istanbul at a depth of 106 meters (348 feet) and 27 meters (89 feet) beneath the seabed. An estimated 90,000 vehicles will use the tunnel daily.

The 14 meter (46 feet) high, 130 meter (427 feet) long advanced Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) with diamond heads is continuing to bore the 13.7 meter (45 feet) high 14.6 km (9.1 miles) in long Eurasia Tunnel, the world’s longest road tunnels.

Osman Gazi Bridge / The İstanbul-İzmir Highway

Construction work on the 433 km (269 mile) Istanbul-Izmir highway and the affiliate Osman Gazi Bridge, which will reduce travel time between Istanbul and the Aegean port city of Izmir to under three hours, is nearing completion. Work on the bridge, which began in 2012, is finished in 2016.

The 2,682-meter (8,799 feet) long and 36-meter (118-feet) wide Osman Gazi Bridge is the world’s fourth longest suspension bridge. The bridge has three lanes running in both directions and a service lane.

The combined total cost of the highway and bridge is $9 billion. The Osman Gazi Bridge is slated open in the first half of 2016, and the highway is expected to be completed by 2018.

During the hours when there is no traffic, it takes 70 minutes to travel around the Izmit Bay by car and approximately 60 minutes to cross it by ferry boat. With the new bridge, it takes only six minutes to cross the bay.

The Grand Istanbul Tunnel

This is a three-story mega road and rail tunnel that will run under the Bosphorus. The project is in its tendering stage.

The mixed-use tunnel will be constructed 110 meters (361 feet) under the Bosphorus, and will be the third link under the waterway. It will have two roads and a metro line under the Bosphorus and be 6.5 km (3.7 miles) long.

The project will be connected to the nine rail systems of Istanbul. The three-story tunnel will become an integral part of Istanbul’s transport system along with the bridges, submarine tunnels and rail systems and roads that exist or are under construction. It will also be linked with İstanbul’s Third Airport on the European side of the city and the Sabiha Gökçen Airport and the Istanbul International Finance Center on the Asian side of the city. The three-story, mixed-use tunnel will have transport 6.5 million persons daily and will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 115,000 tons.

The $3.5 billion project is slated for completion before 2020.

The Dardanelles Bridge

The Dardanelles Bridge will become the world’s longest rail and road suspension bridge and will reduce travel and transport costs between Asia and Europe.

The main span, or distance between the pillars holding up the suspension bridge with cables, will make it the longest in the world. The Dardanelles, along with the Bosphorus and the Sea of Marmara sever the two continents and separate European part of Turkey, known as Thrace, and the Asian mainland known as Anatolia, and connect the Black Sea with the Aegean. The bridge is expected to come on stream by 2023.

The bridge will run from Lapseki (in Anatolia) to Gelibolu (in Thrace) in Çanakkale province, the western most state of Turkey. The 3,623 meter (10,705 foot) Dardanelles Bridge will have a central span of 2,023 meters (6,637 feet), and will replace Japan’s Akashi Kaikyō Bridge as the world’ s longest suspension bridge.

The bridge will also have a rail line that will lower transport costs from Anatolia, especially the Aegean region, to Europe and will reduce truck traffic in Istanbul.