Turkey will become a regional logistic hub, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on April 12, while revealing a “Transport and Logistics Master Plan” for 2053, which also includes the Canal Istanbul.
“Turkey is advancing on the path to becoming the logistics superpower of a vast geography stretching from London to Beijing and from Siberia to South Africa,” Erdoğan said, speaking at a press conference after a cabinet meeting.
The Europe-Asia-Africa trade triangle, in which Turkey is located, offers great opportunities for the country, especially in the field of transportation, Erdoğan stated.
The government has accelerated its investments to get the biggest possible share of the potential that will emerge in other countries, he said, recalling that the U.S. is planning 2 trillion dollars’ worth of infrastructure investment, whereas China is planning 559 billion dollars worth of infrastructure investment.
Turkey, for its part, has already made “great progress” in this area by making 172 billion dollars worth of investment in five main sectors between 2003 and the end of 2021, he stated.
The railway investments have come to the fore of the government plans, and they plan to expand the railway network to 28,590 kilometers by 2053, the president said.The government aims to increase the share of railways in passenger transportation from 1 percent to 6.2 percent, which is above the European average, Erdoğan stated.
His government also aims to improve the road service quality with new investments in a bid to provide more uninterrupted and comfortable transportation, Erdoğan said, adding Turkey would increase the divided road network from 28,650 kilometers to 38,000 kilometers and the highway network from 3,633 kilometers to 8,325 kilometers by 2053.
The expected cargo transportation through Turkish ports would be 255 million tons next year, and this figure will be approximately 421 million tons in 2053, the president said. Therefore, the government will increase the number of ports to 255 in 2053 from its current number of 217, he added.
The Canal Istanbul project also has critical importance in terms of reducing the ship traffic in the Bosphorus and increasing the power of Turkey stemming from its geopolitical position, Erdoğan said. The president also pledged to increase the number of airports from the current 56 to 61 in the upcoming years, adding that they aim to increase the current 210 million annual air transportation to 344 million in 2053.
Govt’ takes steps to turn global crisis into opportunity
Stating that the world is going through extraordinary periods due to the pandemic and wars, Erdoğan also said they endeavor to mobilize Turkey’s full strength, means and potential to overcome this difficult period.
“We have managed this during the pandemic, and now we are taking the steps that would turn the global crisis, which has been continuing by gaining new dimensions with the Russia-Ukraine war, into an opportunity,” Erdoğan said.