Test drives start on the Istanbul Airport-Gayrettepe metro line

Test drives on the first stage of the Istanbul Airport-Gayrettepe metro line will start on November 8. You will be able to go by train from Kagithane to Istanbul Airport.

In his speech at the Turkey 2023 Summit, Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Adil Karaismailoglu reminded that it is the 19th anniversary of the AK Party government, and touched upon the work done in the field of transportation, infrastructure and communication in the intervening period.

Explaining that they have reached 25% locality in the field of communication and telecommunication, they continue to work on 5G to go higher, and domestic and national satellite studies continue, Karaismailoglu pointed out the contribution of infrastructure investments to the economy.

Karaismailoglu stated that there is a serious lack of investment in infrastructure areas such as divided roads, airports and railways, that it is difficult to carry out all large-cost projects in a short time with only the public budget, therefore they have implemented the public-private cooperation projects that they have implemented very successfully.

Stating that Turkey is one of the countries that has implemented the public-private partnership model most successfully, Karaismailoglu said, “We have made a public-private cooperation project worth €30 billion in the last 19 years. We have invested over ₺1 trillion 100 billion in transportation infrastructure in the last 19 years. 20% of this is build-operate-transfer, that is, public-private cooperation.”

Karaismailoglu stated that the Northern Marmara Highway is a project of $8 billion and that it will take a long time to allocate a budget and implement it, and reminded the troubles experienced in the Bolu Mountain Tunnel.


Explaining that there was not even a penny from the state during the investment, all the expenses during the operation period were covered by the operator, all maintenance was completed and the project was delivered at the end of the process, Karaismailoglu stated that the term of duty of the operator on the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge will end in 2027.

Karaismailoglu stated that they are planning projects such as the Northern Marmara Highway, Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge, Eurasia Tunnel, Izmir Highway, Osmangazi Bridge, Marmaray with the mind of the state, and that they are considering the future for decades by considering the future mobility, “If these projects were not carried out, a completely locked-down Istanbul would have emerged.”


Adil Karaismailoglu stated that an airport where 200 thousand people are employed was built in an area that has no economic value, without leaving a penny from the state, and that €22 billion of rent will be paid to the state in 25 years.

Expressing that although the number of vehicles has increased thanks to safe and comfortable roads, the number of accidents and loss of life has decreased, Karaismailoglu said that the annual benefit of the Northern Marmara Motorway to Turkey is ₺2.5 billion.

Karaismailoglu stated that there were criticisms about leaving debts to future generations, and said, “If these projects were not carried out, there would be no infrastructure and such growth. The new generation would make plans for ‘how can I build this much infrastructure’. We will leave a ready infrastructure. Then, how it will develop production, tourism and industry, its plans will now be made. We contribute ₺15 billion annually with projects worth €30 billion (public-private partnerships). There are direct benefits of saving time, fuel and environment. It indirectly contributes to the economy, production, employment and tourism.”


Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Karaismailoglu stated that the work on Kanal Istanbul continues, transportation roads are currently being built, and the construction of bridges has started, and continued his words as follows:

“Our negotiations and preparations for the main tender continue. The only reason for the delay is that we have an extraordinary work to manage and undertake the construction of this project with its own revenues, without any burden on the general budget. We are trying to tackle this project without burdening the overall budget.”

Noting that the rail system works are continuing in different provinces of Turkey and in Istanbul, Karaismailoglu stated that there are ongoing 103-kilometer metro investments in Istanbul.

Karaismailoglu stated that the most important of these is the Gayrettepe-Airport Metro line, “It is 37.5 kilometers long. It will be the fastest metro in Turkey when it is finished. It has a speed of 120 kilometers. Domestic signaling will be used for the first time in Turkey. On Monday (November 8) we start the tests of the first train. We will run the train. We will be able to go by metro from Kagithane to Istanbul Airport. We are planning to open it in the first months of next year. There is also the Halkalı-Istanbul Airport side of it. That’s 31.5 kilometers long.”

Noting that they aim to complete all of the rail system lines (7 pieces) with a total length of 103 kilometers in 2023, Karaismailoglu said, “The TL equivalent of the 103 kilometer rail system line is over ₺60 billion. As a ministry, we are doing our part more than enough.”

Source: NTV / Translated by Irem Yildiz

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