Strong southwesterly winds started to blow in Istanbul as of late Monday, causing disruptions to flight and ferry services.

Turkish Airlines cancelled 63 domestic and international flights that were scheduled to take off from Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport for Tuesday and Wednesday, in addition to 37 flights cancelled earlier, as the airport is located on the northern shore of the Marmara Sea and subject to high winds blowing from the south. Passengers are advised to check the company website or call +90 444 0 849 call center prior to their flights to obtain information about their status.

Istanbul City Lines, Istanbul Sea Buses (İDO) and Bursa Sea Buses (BUDO) cancelled all ferry services in the Marmara Sea and outer Bosporus until further notice, while Bosporus ferry services continue with delays. Ferry services in the Dardanelles (Çanakkale) Strait were also cancelled.

A main seaside road in Istanbul’s Tophane district was closed to traffic for hours when scaffolding at a construction site collapsed on the road due to winds.

Experts and authorities issued warnings of potential carbon monoxide poisoning in the western and northwestern areas of Turkey and urged caution when using stoves and boilers.

The sudden changes in atmospheric pressure and higher air temperature may also cause headaches and exhaustion.

Pininfarina-Aecom-Istanbul-New-Airport-air-traffic-tower_Dezeen_784Pininfarina and AECOM have beaten proposals from Zaha Hadid and Moshe Safdie in a contest seeking a design for an air-traffic control tower at Istanbul’s new airport.

Pininfarina, an Italian design studio, and AECOM, a global architecture firm, were selected ahead of five other shortlisted teams in the competition, which also included Fuksas, RMJM, and Grimshaw and Nordic – the architects designing the rest of the airport.

Their winning design refers to the aerodynamic forms of aircraft.

It features a curving tower that will serve as a landmark for passengers flying in and out of the airport. The shape of the structure is intended to reference the tulip – a symbol of Istanbul.

“In this competition, our aim was to combine the dynamism and romance of Pininfarina’s architectural style that is so influenced by automotive design with AECOM’s in-house aviation architecture capabilities,” said AECOM’s Jennifer Dixon.

“The AECOM and Pininfarina team has created a beautiful and highly functional piece that rekindles the excitement and glamour of modern air travel at the crossroads of Europe and Asia,” she added.

“The Istanbul ATC for the New Airport is an iconic building, destined to become a landmark for Istanbul,” added Pininfarina chairman Paolo Pininfarina.

Pininfarina is best known for its transport design, and has worked with agricultural machinery manufacturer Zetor on a Ferrari-style tractor, as well as train designs for Eurostar. Earlier this year the company was bought by Indian conglomerate Mahindra.

“Our aim, as with all our projects, was to develop a bespoke idea that embodied our partner’s design identity while at the same time bringing a new aesthetic perspective,” added Pininfarina.

“By leveraging the unique combination of our 85 years’ experience in design – from cars to superyachts, and from luxury products to furniture – with our architectural knowledge gained from several projects around the world, we have been able to create a technologically advanced structure of distinctive character.”

All six entrants were tasked with creating a contemporary and sustainable design that reflects the culture and heritage of the city.

AECOM and Pininfarina’s winning design will be built at Istanbul New Airport, a six-runway structure that will house the “world’s largest airport terminal under one roof”.

The airport will be located 20 miles outside the city on the Black Sea coast, and will be built in four phases with the first expected to open in 2018.

“One of the world’s largest aviation projects, Istanbul New Airport’s air traffic control tower will be an iconic structure, visible to all passengers travelling through the airport,” said Yusuf Akçayoğlu, chief executive officer of İGA.

“We were looking for a striking design fit for a 21st century airport while remaining sensitive to Istanbul’s unique heritage,” he added.


A total of 12 companies placed bids for the research, project and engineering services tender of the Three-Level Grand Istanbul Tunnel project. A total of 23 companies had received the project’s specifications.

The tender for the tunnel project, which aims to relieve Istanbul’s heavy traffic, was held at the General Directorate of Infrastructure Investments yesterday. The tender commission, led by Infrastructure Investments Deputy General Manager Metin Akbaş, was closed to the press to evaluate bids.

As a part of the project, studies will be conducted on land, sea and estuary drilling, the geophysical, geotechnical and geological conditions, routes and preliminary and final feasibility surveys to determine ground data. The engineering projects are aimed to be finalized within a year after the tender process.

The Three-Level Grand Istanbul Tunnel, which will pass beneath the Bosporus, will be comprised of both a road and a railroad in a single tube. The middle layer will have a two-way railroad, while the upper and lower layers will be built in a manner suited to the passage of vehicles and consist of two lanes each.The Three-Level Grand Istanbul Tunnel was one of Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu’s most important election promises as the government seeks to find a solution to Istanbul’s traffic problems. With the outcome of the Nov. 1 elections, which saw the Justice and Development party win with nearly 50 percent of the vote, the implementation of the mega projects has gained momentum.

The Tunnel will be integrated with TEM Highway, E-5 Motorway and Northern Marmara Highway. The journey between Hasdal Junction on the European Side of Istanbul and Çamlık Junction on the Asian Side will drop to 14 minutes with the construction of the tunnel and 6.5 million passengers a day are expected to use the tunnel.

As one of these mega projects, the Three-Level Grand Istanbul Tunnel will be the first three-level tunnel in the world and will consist of both a metro line and dual motorway. The fast metro line will enable a 40-minute commute from İncirli to Söğütlüçeşme and a 14-minute commute by car from the Hasdal intersection to the Ümraniye Çamlık intersection. The project is included in the 2023 Transportation Projection, an initiative to reduce Istanbul’s traffic woes. This project combined the “fast metro tunnel project,” which will start from Bakırköy-İncirli along the E-5 highway and reach Söğütlüçeşme, similar to the Marmaray and the “highway tunnel” with 2×2 lanes, in order to relieve the traffic on the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge, the second bridge on the Bosporus. Instead of separate tunnels, a single tunnel will be built for both the metro and a dual highway Bosporus crossing.

The tunnel will enable faster and cheaper transportation between the two sides of Istanbul. It will integrate nine different urban train systems with a fast metro track, which is used by approximately 6.5 million passengers on a daily basis. It will also enable easier and faster connections to ring roads; thus connecting all main arterial roads.

The tunnel will integrate local metro lines including the Başakşehir-Bağcılar-Bakırköy Metro, the Yenikapı-Aksaray-Airport Metro, the Kabataş-Bağcılar Tram, the Topkapı-Sultançifliği Light Metro, the Mahmutbey-Mecidiyeköy Metro, the Yenikapı-Hacıosman Metro (Taksim Metro), the Üsküdar-Ümraniye-Çekmeköy-Sancaktepe Metro, the Kadıköy-Kartal Metro, also known as the Marmaray, Istanbul’s first sub-sea tunnel train under the Bosporus, and suburban train lines.

The highways will connect the third airport, currently under construction, and the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge, the third bridge on the Bosporus (also under construction), to the North Marmara Highway, TEM and D100 (E-5) Highway.

Lastly, the project is designed to leave residential areas undisturbed and support the TEM axis so as to avoid an urban eye-sore that would ruin the city’s skyline.

istanbulkartTransportations cards, which many Istanbul residents currently use to travel around the city, will soon also be used as debit cards for everyday purchases, according to a recent Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (İBB) regulation.

The transport card Istanbul residents currently use, which is publicly dubbed the “Istanbulkart,” will also be used for electronic payment activities starting from 2016 as a debit card which can be used in cafes, restaurants, shopping malls and any other urban activities.

The regulation was passed at the İBB assembly in the monthly municipality meeting held in early November.

Around 19 million Istanbulkarts have been delivered so far, with a total of 180,000 transactions recorded on average monthly. Istanbulkarts can currently be used in Istanbul’s urban and suburban trains run by the Turkish State Railways (TCDD), Istanbul’s inner-city sea buses and ferries, public transit buses, metros, trams and other transportation means owned by the Istanbul Electric Tram and Tunnel Company (İETT), a private company which operates mass transit in Istanbul.

The technical work to convert the Istanbulkarts was reported to be ongoing and the practice is expected to be launched in early 2016.

“It’s not going be a credit card, but a wallet. It will be used everywhere like money,” Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş recently said.

The İBB authorized the Municipal Data Processing Corporation of Istanbul (BELBİM) Electronic Money and Payment Services Company for 15 years in exchange for $1.5 million, excluding taxes.

The new cards will also be used in conjunction with İSPARK, an İBB subsidiary providing parking services throughout the metropolis.

Also during the İBB’s monthly meeting, the municipality passed another regulation which placed the management of taxi and minibus stations, as well as that of shared taxis, in Istanbul under İSPARK.

The goal of the regulation is saving time and fuel, while also preventing long traffic jams in the city, according to the regulation.

The project was briefly tested when İSPARK constructed 30 minibus stations and the result was reported to yield positive results in removing vehicles from traffic flow.

Also within the project around 18,000 taxis will be centrally controlled by a recently founded call center.

Greece’s Alexis Tsipras paid a visit to Istanbul’s Fener Greek Orthodox Patriarchate for the first time as prime minister Wednesday.

The 41-year-old leader met with Patriarch Bartholomew I, the Istanbul-based leader of many of the world’s Orthodox Christians at the administration building of the Patriarchate in Istanbul’s historic Fener district.

Speaking to the press after the hour-long meeting Bartholomew I said that the two discussed refugee crisis as well as relations with Greece and interreligious dialogue.

“[Tsipras] had visited us three times. We met also in Athens. We know each other very well. I wish him success on his difficult task,” he said.

Tsipras is in Turkey for a two-day visit to discuss, among other issues, the ongoing refugee crisis.

More than 150,000 people crossed from Turkey to Greece last month, compared with more than 8,500 in October 2014, according to EU’s border agency, Frontex.

The EU leaders have agreed to discuss a 3-billion-euro ($3.23 billion) deal with Turkey for refugee support and to help stem the tide of people fleeing the Syrian conflict.

The Turkish government, according to official figures, has so far spent $8 billion to accommodate around 2.5 million refugees it hosts inside the country.

Tsipras arrived in Istanbul on Tuesday evening and watched, alongside Turkey’s prime minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, a friendly match between Turkey and Greece in Istanbul, which resulted in a scoreless draw.

Tsipras is expected to meet with Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as well as other political party leaders in Turkey.

vodafone istanbul marathonKenyans took the first three places in the 42-kilometer marathon, which was held on Sunday with the attendance of many athletes from around the world. Chelimo took first place with a time of 2:11:17, and was followed by Evans Kiplagat with a time of 2:12:51 and Silah Kipkemboi Limo with 2:14:02.

The women’s 42-kilometer run was won by Ethiopian runner Amane Gobena, who clocked in with a time of 2:31:58. Second place was taken by Kenyan Gladys Chepkemoi Chemone, and she was followed by Meryem Erdoğan, a Turkish citizen of Ethiopian origin.

The prizes were presented to the winners by Youth and Sports Minister Çağatay Kılıç, İstanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş and other protocol members.
The top runner received $50,000, second-place $25,000 and third-place $15,000.

An incident took place during the Fun Run when the leg of a 45-year-old attendee became stuck in a road shaft. Fulya Ufuk waited for almost an hour before firefighters could come and free her leg.

The marathon started at 9 a.m. on Sunday, with runners taking off from Altunizade on the Asian side, crossing the Bosporus Bridge and continuing through the bustling center of İstanbul.

The Vodafone İstanbul Marathon was awarded the IAAF Gold Label Road Race label in 2014 and is a popular event on the marathon calendar.

Istanbul is preparing to host the two-day 13th Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Summit next Thursday and Friday. According to a statement from the president's...


Istanbul is preparing to host the two-day 13th Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Summit next Thursday and Friday. According to a statement from the president's...