The High Speed Train line, which will reduce the transportation time between Ankara and Izmir to 3,5 hours, has not been completed for 10 years. The cost of the project has increased almost 8 times in the intervening period.
The completion of the Ankara-İzmir High Speed Train (YHT) line project, the contract of which was signed in 2012 and still not completed, was left until 2025. The opposition, which argues that the tender was made with the mentality of "I did it and it's done", says, "The government has ignored the cities managed by CHP municipalities".
Eray Görgülü from Deutsche Welle Turkish to the news by;"The foundation of the Ankara-İzmir YHT project, whose contract was signed on June 10, 2012, was laid on September 21, 2013. The construction of the 2015-kilometer-long line, which was initially announced to be completed in 2018, but later on until 640 and then postponed every year, could not be completed for 10 years. The estimated cost of the project, which was foreseen as 2013 billion TL in the 3,5 investment program, increased almost 8 times and reached 28 billion TL in the intervening period. The completion of the project, of which 1,2 billion TL was allocated from this year's budget, was left until 2025.
How many ministers, how many general managers changed?
Pointing out that the project has been ongoing since 2007, CHP İzmir Deputy Bedri Serter said, “We cannot calculate how many governments, how many ministers, how many general directors of transportation have changed”. Arguing that the tender was opened without carrying out adequate research and development projects, Serter also drew attention to the sinkholes in the region. Serter said, “There are currently 21 sinkholes in the vicinity of Sivrihisar and towards Eskişehir after passing Polatlı, right where the train line passes. For this reason, it is very difficult to overcome this place, they keep themselves busy on the Afyon-Uşak line. They are throwing billions of euros and billions of TL of Turkey into the streets," he said.
The longer it takes, the higher the cost.
Expressing that, as an Izmir citizen, he now wants this line to be completed, Serter said, “Once again, I have given up on getting on this train on this train line. I say I am ready to walk to Ankara on foot or on horseback.” Serter pointed out that as the construction of the line gets longer, the tender costs also increase. Serter stated that, besides the technical and economic reasons, the political approach of the government towards İzmir was also effective in the delay of the line.
Serter continued as follows: “The AKP mentality is that if the municipalities there are not mine, if they do not vote for me, I will definitely punish them, I will not make them tender, I will not implement high-speed train lines, I will not sign their subway systems, I will always ignore their projects. But if the municipalities are adopted and I have a large number of deputies there, I will provide services to them. So you're 50 percent mine, 50 percent enemy child."
BTS: Projects cannot be finished on time
Arguing that the government has made mistakes with this approach, Serter said, "In the normal time or early elections, the people will punish the AKP mentality." Stating that serious resources have been transferred to High Speed Train projects in recent years, United Transport Employees' Union (BTS) Secretary General İsmail Özdemir also noted that, compared to the past, railway productions were not completed on time. Ozdemir said:
“This situation causes the resources that come out of the pockets of all our citizens and citizens to be wasted. In some regions, YHT studies are still continuing. It continues in the Izmir region as well. The contractor firm that received the tender informed our union that while it was supposed to produce according to the project, our controller friends in the field reported that there was no production according to the project as they looked and checked.” Noting that they reported the reports to the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, Özdemir said that the project was later revised accordingly, but it is not known how these studies were carried out. Özdemir drew attention to the fact that they wrote to the authorized institutions and the Public Ethics Committee many shortcomings they saw about the İzmir YHT line.
The Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure officials did not answer the questions of DW Turkish regarding the delay of the line.