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istanbul-finance-centerThe groundbreaking ceremony for the Capital Market Board (CMB) and Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK) buildings, developed by the Housing Development Administration of Turkey (TOKİ) as a part of the Istanbul International Finance Center (IIFC) in Istanbul’s Ataşehir district and attended by Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım was held on Saturday.

During a speech at the ceremony, Prime Minister Yıldırım said that the world’s hard cash is seeking new addresses, since the U.S. and Europe are pushing international investors more and more in relation to the origin of their property, and that Turkey is the perfect place for investors. Furthermore, he stated that this is the reason why they decided to initiate such a project.

At the IIFC, which is said will turn Istanbul into “a regional and a global financial center,” 50,000 people will be employed and it will have 25,000 daily visitors once opened. The project is aimed at developing the conditions required for Istanbul to rank among the leading financial centers of the world. More precisely, the project aims at developing a legal infrastructure up to international standards, adding to diversity of financial products and services, simplifying and increasing the efficiency of the taxation system, improving the regulatory and supervisory framework, strengthening the physical and technological infrastructure, providing a training infrastructure to meet the requirement for qualified human resources and creating an organizational structure that will realize promotional and monitoring activities worldwide.

Among the joint infrastructure work being launched in the scope of the financial center include an administrative building, a police station, a health center, fire department, continuing education center, various academic courses, a mosque, a nursery, an underground parking lot and a trestle will all be built, bringing together joint infrastructure work in the financial center for financial sector giants like the Capital Market Board (SPK), the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK), Ziraat Bank and Vakıfbank. The infrastructural work also includes environmental planning to be completed in tandem with the finance center by the first quarter of 2019.

Atatürk AirportIstanbul Atatürk International Airport broke its own air traffic record with 1,500 landings and takeoffs on Sunday, Turkey’s airports management agency said yesterday.

Sunday’s air traffic record at Atatürk Airport was the second in the same month following a previous record on Sept. 9 when 1,478 planes landed and took off in 24 hours. On Sunday, 749 planes landed and 751 others took off from Atatürk Airport, which is the 11th largest airport worldwide, providing services to 61.8 million passengers last year, according to the Airports Council International (ACI). It was also listed as the third busiest airport in Europe by ACI in 2015.

The record figures come nearly three months after a terror attack on June 28 at Ataturk Airport, killing at least 36 people and injuring nearly 150 others.

“Despite the terror attack in [June] and July 15 coup attempt, the great success [new record] demonstrates the continued rise in Turkish civil aviation,” said the head of the General Directorate of State Airports Authority (DHMI), Serdar Hüseyin Yıldırım, in a statement. “The new record also pointed out the need for a new airport in Istanbul,” Yıldırım added.

Turkey is building Istanbul’s third airport, which will open in February 2018, according to the Turkish Transport Ministry. The Cengiz-Kolin-Limak-Mapa-Kalyon consortium, a joint venture of Turkish companies, won a tender to build the third airport in Istanbul in 2013, pledging to pay the government 22.1 billion euros ($24.68 billion) for 25 years starting from 2017. With a more than 150 million passenger capacity annually, the airport is expected to become one of the biggest in the world and the biggest air transfer hub in Europe.

The airport will also act as a focal point for Turkey’s flag carrier Turkish Airlines, which is one of the fastest growing airline companies in the world, flying currently to more than 270 international destinations.

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