Mehmet Cahit Turan, Minister of Transport and Infrastructure, who published a message regarding the new year, said, “We heartily celebrate the new year of our country, our nation and all of humanity; I hope 2019 will be a year in which hopes increase and feelings of friendship, brotherhood and solidarity gain strength.
We are entering the new year with new hopes and new excitements, without a doubt. Despite all economic and external adversities, 2018 has been a year in which important projects we initiated previously continued and were successfully completed. We put the first phase of Istanbul Airport into service on 29 October. We opened the Ovit Tunnel located on Ovit Mountain with an altitude of 2 meters, which connects the Black Sea with Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia. We put the Sabuncubeli Tunnel, which connects Izmir and Manisa, into service in June. We increased the length of divided roads to 640 thousand 26 kilometers and 637 percent of our road network and almost all of our main axes became divided roads. As we continued the construction of the 39 Çanakkale Bridge, one of our projects that transcend continents, we also completed wind tests. In 1915, 2018 20 km tunnels were completed. We are continuing the construction of 30,3 tunnels of 170 km. Again in 524, 2018 bridges with a length of 30 kilometers were built, while maintenance and repair of 188 bridges were completed.
2019 will be a very busy year full of services. We will complete the 426-kilometer-long highway project that will connect Istanbul, Bursa and Izmir, and put it into service. We will also complete the 82 km Menemen-Aliağa-Çandarlı Highway. We will also put into service Malatya-Hekimhan, IĢar, Honaz, Alacabel, Aşık Şenlik, Karasu, Güzeldere and Ilgar tunnels, some of our important tunnel works. We will continue the construction of the 3 thousand 953 km long railway line and complete 1.204 km in 2019. We will complete the construction of Ankara-Sivas High Speed Railway Line at the end of 2019 and begin test drives. We will also complete the Istanbul Suburban Line and the Gayrettepe-Istanbul Airport rail system connection and the Sabiha Gökçen Airport railway connection. We will put the Küçük Çamlıca TV and Radio Tower into service. Until the end of May 2019, we will ensure that digital services offered to the public, private sector and public are delivered via e-government. By always increasing our service quality as in previous years; Turkey's development, community development and our republic all necessary in achieving the goals we have set for the 100th anniversary, we will continue to show the effort and determination.
Accompanied by these feelings, the year 2019 was dominated by brotherhood for 365 days; I hope it will be a year in which all our citizens will walk to the future in health, happiness, abundance, abundance and prosperity. "