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Turkey Celebrates 90th Anniversary with Completion of Major Milestone and More to Come

November 5, 2013 Destination Global No Comments Email Email

Turkey marked the 90th anniversary of becoming a Republic by connecting the East and West by rail for the first time with the inauguration of the Marmaray Commuter Rail Mass Transit System, which officially opened to the public this week.  

The new high-speed, uninterrupted connection between Asia and Europe is linked through a railway tunnel under the Istanbul Strait.The main structures and systems of the entire Marmaray project, which totals nearly 47 miles, includes the immersed tube tunnel, bored tunnels, cut-and-cover tunnels, at – grade structures, three new underground stations, 37 surface stations (renovation and upgrading), operations control center, yards, workshops, maintenance facilities, upgrading of existing tracks including a new third track on ground, completely new electrical and mechanical systems, and procurement of modern railway vehicles.

Long the link between East and West in ancient times, the inauguration on October 29 – exactly 90 years after the formation of the Republic of Turkey – shows once again how Istanbul continues its place as a keystone of cultures from all over the world.

Several other projects are underway in Istanbul including the Istanbul Canal and a brand new airport. The 30-mile ship canal will connect the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara to relieve the Bosphorus, which has about 50,000 ships pass through each year. When complete, the canal will transform the European side of Istanbul into a large island. The new canal will handle 85,000 ships a year, up from the 51,000 currently using the Bosporus each year.

The new airport will be one of the largest in the world and third largest in Istanbul with six runways. Slated for a first-stage opening in 2017, the airport will be an investment of more than $9 billion dollars and is expected to service 150 million passengers ever year.

All of these new developments prove Turkey’s position as one of the fastest-growing economies in Europe and one of the top tourism destinations in the world.

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