Turkey’s Prime Minister and leader of the governing AK Party, Ahmet Davutoglu, held 10 rallies in Istanbul on Tuesday, speaking on his party’s ongoing and planned projects over the city.
Davutoglu visited 10 districts of Istanbul’s European side including Fatih, Zeytinburnu, Gungoren, Bahcelievler, Gaziosmanpasa, Arnavutkoy, Basaksehir, Esenyurt, Kucukcekmece and Bagcilar.
Praising his party’s 13-year-long success in Istanbul, Davutoglu said the ongoing mega projects were “unimaginable” in 2002, the year that the AK Party took over the management of Turkey from three-party coalition.
“Who builds the longest draw bridge of the world, Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge? The mass Marmara Highway will be connected to that bridge. Who does that? Who builds the crazy project ‘Canal Istanbul?' We build a three-leveled tunnel between the two old bridges,” said Davutoglu to the crowd answering as “AK Party!”
A third bridge over the Bosphorus is currently under construction and is expected to be ready by the end of 2015.
Last February, Davutoglu announced an estimated $3.5 billion mega project for a three-story sub-sea tunnel under Istanbul’s Bosphorus Strait which will connect the city’s two sides with one railway and two land routes, cutting travel times to 14 minutes.
Davutoglu had described the 6.5 km-long tunnel named Eurasia Tunnel as the first of its kind in the world, as it is comprised of one rail system between two highways for motor vehicles 110 metres under the Bosphorus Strait.
The project, aiming to reduce congestion and relieve traffic density on the huge suspension bridges which cross the Bosphorus Strait, is set to open in 2016 and will be the second tunnel under the sea after Marmaray, a 13.5 km-long tube line under the Bosphorus Strait combining ground railways on both sides.
A new waterway for Istanbul named “Canal Istanbul” will be built in the west of Istanbul to link the Black Sea to the Marmara Sea which aims at reducing maritime traffic at Istanbul Strait.
The canal was announced by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who was then prime minister on May 11, and expected to being tendered for a contract in two months.
The third airport of Istanbul, which will be connected to the city centre through a new highway named “Marmara Highway,” the third bridge and railway systems, are also under construction.
The new airport is planned as a large complex including four separate terminal buildings, and expected to start service in 2017.