Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Adil Karaismailoğlu, emphasizing that the Istanbul-Tehran-Islamabad (ITI) Freight Train, which has started to operate again, will lead to the development of trade between the two countries, and said, “BTK Railway Line and the Middle Corridor and the new axis of world trade, Asia, by rail. Connected to Turkey, this corridor also establishes a railway bridge to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Thus, with the Islamabad-Tehran-Istanbul (ITI) Freight Train, a new railway corridor will be provided to our exporters in the south of Asia, reaching Pakistan, which is the neighbor of India, China, Afghanistan and Iran, which has the highest population density in the world. In this way, our country will be one step closer to its goals of becoming a bridge and logistics base between Asia and Europe.”
Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Adil Karaismailoğlu attended the Islamabad-Tehran-Istanbul (ITI) Freight Train welcoming ceremony. Karaismailoğlu stated that Turkey, at the intersection of Asia and Europe, is one of the leading countries in the Silk Road geography, with its geopolitical position, as it was yesterday. For the first time in the history of the Republic, with its exports of 2021 billion dollars in 225, it carried its share in the world trade volume above 1 percent. Last year, when global goods trade increased by 10 percent, we managed to increase our exports by 33 percent. The 20 export target of Turkey, which is one of the fastest recovering countries among the G2022 countries during the epidemic period, is 250 billion dollars. In addition to this goal, the rapidly developing commercial relations between Asia and Europe also necessitate the development of transportation infrastructures in our region.
TURKEY HAS BECOME A KEY COUNTRY OF INTERNATIONAL RAILWAY CORRIDORS
Emphasizing that they have invested more than 19 trillion 1 billion liras in Turkey's transportation and communication infrastructure in the last 145 years, Karaismailoğlu said that they are working very seriously to establish uninterrupted and high quality transportation infrastructures between continents, especially by creating international corridors. Karaismailoğlu said, “Thanks to our hundreds of projects that have been built and implemented with the railway mobilization carried out by our Ministry, Turkey has become the key country of international railway corridors” and continued his speech as follows:
“We have increased our railway network to 12 kilometers. 803 percent of our signaled lines in order to improve efficiency and safety in the railway; On the other hand, we increased our electric lines by 172 percent. The route that passes through our country and connects the Far East countries, especially China, to the European Continent, is known as the Middle Corridor. Thanks to the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway Line being put into service, the opportunity to effectively use the Middle Corridor in rail freight traffic between China and Europe has emerged. Now, the 180 thousand km China-Turkey track is completed in 12 days. We are also continuing our efforts to shift 12 percent of the annual 5 thousand block train to Europe via the China-Russia (Siberia), known as the Northern line, to Turkey. We aim to operate 30 block trains per year from the Middle Corridor and Baku-Tbilisi-Kars route and reduce the total 1.500-day cruise time between China and Turkey to 12 days. By using this line more efficiently and at a higher capacity, we will support our exporters for the 10 billion dollar target. No one should doubt that we will become a logistics superpower in the Middle Corridor by 250, with our infrastructure that we have strengthened with the goal of holistic development.”
2021 MILLION TONS OF CARGO TRANSPORTED BY RAILWAYS IN 38.5
With railways in 2021; Underlining that a total of 38,5 million tons of cargo was transported, Minister of Transport Karasmailoğlu said that they achieved an increase of 24 percent especially in international cargo transports compared to last year. Underlining that the highest increase was experienced on the BTK line with 98 percent, Karaismailoğlu said that there was a 20 percent increase in the European line and a 15 percent increase in the Iran line. Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Karaismailoğlu said, “We aimed to increase the amount of freight we carry on our railways to over 2023 million tons in 50. We will further increase this potential of Turkey, which has a significant trade volume in regional freight transportation, by making logistics centers. With the projects we planned within the scope of the Transport and Logistics Master Plan studies, we aimed to increase the share of railways in land transportation from 5 percent to 11 percent in the first place. We continue the construction works on a total of 5 km of railway lines," he said.
KARAMAN-KONYA SPEED TRAIN LINE TO BE OPENED ON SATURDAY
Expressing that they will open the Karaman - Konya High Speed Train line with the participation of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Saturday, Karaismailoğlu continued as follows:
“Ankara-İzmir, Halkalı-ÇerkezköyOUR WORK IS CONTINUING ON Kapikule, Bursa-Yenişehir-Osmaneli, Mersin-Adana-Gaziantep, Karaman-Ulukışla, Aksaray-Ulukışla-Mersin-Yenice High Speed Train Lines. In addition, we are completing the tender work of our Ankara-Kayseri High Speed Train Line. Gebze-Sabiha Gökçen Airport-Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge-Istanbul Airport-Çatalca-Halkalı We are also working on the High Speed Train Project. Our railway sector, which strengthens its power with the projects that have been realized and continues, is increasing its share in passenger and freight transportation day by day. Thanks to the Marmaray Bosphorus Tube Crossing and the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway line, which are one of the most important investments in our goal of making Turkey a logistics base, rail freight transport is increasing in a wide hinterland from China to Europe, from Turkey to Russia.”
IT WILL LEAD TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF TRADE BETWEEN TWO COUNTRIES
Stating that Islamabad-Tehran-Istanbul Freight Train will offer a new option to industrialists and businessmen on the Pakistan-Iran-Turkey route, Karaismailoğlu said, “Our train, which left Pakistan-Islamabad's Margalla station on December 21, 2021, is 990 kilometers in Pakistan / Islamabad, He completed his 2-kilometer track, 603 thousand 388 kilometers in Iran and 5 kilometers in our country, in 981 days and 12 hours. The Istanbul -Tehran-Islamabad (ITI) Freight Train will save time and cost compared to sea transportation between Pakistan and Turkey, which takes 21 days, and will lead to the development of trade between the two countries. Of course, these advantages will increase our competitive power. We aim to make the train, which is still working for the return load from Turkey, become regular in the coming period and to provide a European connection by crossing the Marmaray. In addition, the journey of the second train, which departs from Pakistan on 35 December 29, continues to Turkey. With the resumption of our Islamabad - Tehran-Istanbul Freight Train, the share of railway transportation in the trade between the two countries will increase. With the work of our countries and railway administrations, especially the Organization of Economic Cooperation, with the Freight Train, which has started to be operated again on the Islamabad-Tehran-Istanbul (ITI) line, studies are continuing to increase the variety of cargo, shorten the transportation times and carry cargo. Connecting to Asia, which is the new axis of world trade, by rail with the BTK Railway Line and the Middle Corridor, Turkey is building a railway bridge to Afghanistan and Pakistan with this corridor. Thus, with the Islamabad-Tehran-Istanbul (ITI) Freight Train, a new railway corridor will be provided to our exporters in the south of Asia, reaching Pakistan, which is the neighbor of India, China, Afghanistan and Iran, which has the highest population density in the world. In this way, our country will be one step closer to its goals of becoming a bridge and logistics base between Asia and Europe. In the resumption of the voyages, our states, international institutions and railway administrations provided great efforts and support.”