Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications Minister Lütfi Elvan said on Monday that Istanbul’s third bridge across the Bosporus would be opened in October 2015.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), Elvan said “The towers of the third bridge have reached 312 meters in height and another 10 meters remain for completion. We aim to launch the opening of the bridge on Oct. 29, 2015.” The bridge, also known as Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge, will opened on the 86th anniversary of the Turkish Republic.

Commenting on opposition from European media regarding the third airport in Istanbul, Elvan said “the national will and demand of our nation are important for us. Transport infrastructure, such as the third airport, the third bridge, are our citizens’ top priority… No one can prevent us from building them.”

The construction of Istanbul’s third airport, set to be the biggest air transfer hub in Europe when it opens in 2018, began in June this year. In 20 years’ time, the commercial aircraft traffic at Istanbul airports will exceed 1 million aircraft and will host 118 million passengers per year, according to a 2010 forecast by Turkey’s Middle East Technical University.

The Cengiz-Kolin-Limak-Mapa-Kalyon Consortium, a joint venture of Turkish companies, won the tender for the third Istanbul airport in May 2013, promising to pay the state 22.1 billion euros, plus taxes, over 25 years starting in 2017.

Elvan also said the infrastructure works of Ordu-Giresun Airport, located off Turkey’s Black Sea coast, were completed while the superstructure efforts were still ongoing. The minister said they wanted to open the airport – built on an artificial island – to service on March of 2015.

Elvan unveiled a future transportation project during his speech and said they planned to construct a railway over the Dardanelles Strait.

The minister said the government would make a TL 8.5 billion ($3.68 billion) investment in railways in 2015 and added they planned TL 12 billion investments per year after 2016.

Elvan also said Turkey wanted to launch the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars rail route by the end of 2015, which will link Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey.

“The country started building its railways in the mid-19th century during the Ottoman Empire and the development of the railways also continued during the first years of the Republic of Turkey,” Elvan said. “But development was neglected until 2003, when the AK party came to power in Turkey. We increased investment in railways to TL 8.5 billion from TL 3-TL 4 billion a few years ago,” he said.

The country aims to reach its goal of 25,000 kilometers of rail line, with 3,500 kilometers for the high-speed train railway and 8,500 kilometers for the regular railway, by 2023, the centenary of the Turkish Republic.

The 32nd International Istanbul Book Fair to take place between November 2-10 at Istanbul TUYAP Fair and Congress Center will host 650 publishers all over the world with more than 300 facilities and autograph sessions.

Historian, writer, Taner Timur has been determined by the Board of Book Fair Council as the “honored writer of the fair” and the theme for the fair was decided to be “History, the future in the Past”.

The guest country of the fair is China.

More than 100 Chinese publishers will attend the fair while many significant figures of Chinese literature will be hosted in the fair.

There will be two innovations in the fair this year: The fair will have digital publishing and educational books halls.

The fair can be visited between 10.00-19.00 in weekdays, and 10.00-20.00 on the weekend.

Traffic started flowing once again in Istanbul’s Taksim Square early this morning after the completion of a controversial pedestrianization project.

The road between Tarlabaşı Boulevard and Cumhuriyet Avenue was reopened to traffic after almost a year of construction, by taking the road underground and removing any kind of vehicle traffic and shops from a total of 98,000 square meters of area around Taksim Square.

Officials have said the opening of the road in Taksim will help ease Istanbul’s chaotic traffic, which is expected to become more hectic with the opening of schools on Sept. 16. The new road has two lanes just for buses on each side for a length of 100 meters, as well as 4,500-square-meter area for bus stops.

Underground tunnel in Istanbul’s Taksim Square opened to traffic

The pedestrianization project, which was carried out by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, included not only bringing the traffic underground but also constructing a shopping mall and residence in the style of an old Ottoman artillery barracks in the last green area of Istanbul’s city center, Gezi Park.

The plan prompted protests starting on May 27, when municipality workers started removing trees in the Gezi Park in order to build the shopping mall/residence. The heavy-handed police response to the environmental movement sparked demonstrations that engulfed the country on May 31. An Istanbul court canceled the barracks project in June, while permitting the underground traffic construction to be completed.


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...