Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Adil Karismailoğlu met with transportation reporters at the iftar program and answered questions about the agenda. Expressing that the “Transportation 2053 Vision”, which was prepared within the scope of the Transport and Logistics Master Plan, is important for the country administration, Karaismailoğlu said that the problems experienced today should be analyzed well and that the problems that will arise in the coming years should be prepared today and the plans should be made accordingly. Karaismailoğlu pointed out that the country's potential should be evaluated well with a common mind in the light of today's needs analysis, developing processes, developments in production and employment, and development plans, and explained that years should be planned with this vision.
Emphasizing that master plans are indispensable, which will further activate and help the large investments made in the last 20 years and help the country to prepare for the problems that may be experienced in the coming years, Minister of Transport Karaismailoğlu said, “If the countries do not have master plans, your work will not be of any use. It is necessary to plan them well, integrate them with each other and ensure coordination. “We have invested $20 billion in the last 170 years,” he said. Providing information about the investments made, Karaismailoğlu stated that plans are being prepared against the events that the country will face until 2053. Karaismailoğlu noted that an investment of 2053 billion dollars will be made until 198, and that a period of investment focused on railways and communication has been entered.
WE HAVE 22 SHIPS WAITING ON THE BEACHES OF UKRAINE IN THE BLACK SEA
Reminding that Turkish ships loaded with sunflower oil waiting in the Sea of Azov and Kerch Strait, which are controlled by Russia, returned weeks ago, Transport and Infrastructure Minister Karaismailoğlu said:
“Currently, we have 22 ships waiting especially on the Black Sea coasts of Ukraine. Most of them are Turkish owned. Turkish bayraklı there are some in it. We even consulted with the Ambassador of Ukraine today. We need to get those ships from there. Initially there were over 200 crew members, we evacuated some of them. Now there are 90 crew, but they have not requested evacuation, they do not want to leave the ship. There are loads of grain, sunflower oil, iron on the ships. Almost 50 days. Ship owners are also anxious, waiting for good news. We are also on the alert. We are in constant contact with the seafarers working from our Search and Rescue Center. Our talks with both Russia and Ukraine continue. There are ships from other countries besides Turkey. There are about 100 ships in the region. These must be rescued as soon as possible, but the war must end. Besides, there are cargoes waiting for export at the port, especially on the Ukrainian side. On the other hand, there are loads waiting to go to Ukraine at our ports. The war environment turns everything upside down.”
MOBILITY IN RUSSIA PORTS STARTED TOGETHER
Karaismailoğlu stated that a little bit of activity started in the Russian ports and they could not see this movement on the Ukrainian side, and that the trade in the Black Sea was also affected by the war, and there was some activity unlike the first days. Noting that there are Turkish-owned ships operating in Russian ports, especially in the Ro-Ro field, Karaismailoğlu stated that there was uneasiness due to the war environment.
Pointing out that the aviation industry was also severely affected by the war, Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Karaismailoğlu stated that there is no aviation transportation with Ukraine due to the closed airspace. Karaismailoğlu stated that the war environment made the transportation sector uneasy, like all sectors, and wished that the war would end as soon as possible.
WE ARE CONTINUOUSLY MEETING WITH GEORGIA
Expressing that it is not possible to transport cargoes transported by sea by land, Karaismailoğlu said, “A large ship carries the load of almost 5 thousand trucks. Therefore, the commercial activity that was not in the sea was reflected on the land as well. When the demand there was high, the accumulation started. We are in constant contact with the Georgian side, even our friends are going to Georgia, we are trying to meet with them and speed up the traffic,” he said. Emphasizing that there was a density at the border gates due to the increase in exports, an extra burden was incurred due to the disruption of maritime trade, and that they followed all of them, Karaismailoğlu noted that over a thousand trucks were waiting. Pointing out that the two sides talk differently about the mines in the Black Sea, Karaismailoğlu said, “It is not possible for the mines to reach Istanbul in such a short time. The release of mines in Ukraine also seems strange to us. That's why minesweepers are constantly circulating. This also raises a concern. Those sides seem to be risky areas. This is the factor that affects the trade there. There are some uncertainties due to the war environment. With the end of the war, these will disappear in a short time,” he said.
YAVUZ SULTAN SELİM BRIDGE TO BE DELIVERED TO THE GOVERNMENT IN 2026
Touching upon the projects carried out with the Build-Operate-State (BOT) model, Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Adil Karaismailoğlu said that they will continue to use these and public-private cooperation methods in feasibility-appropriate works, and that they are behind the projects they do. Karaismailoğlu, who stated that when they made the benefit-cost-effect analysis of the projects, they saw that they were beneficial in all aspects, explained that the expected returns in the feasibility of the projects could not be achieved due to the decrease in mobility due to the Kovid-19 epidemic that affected the world. Karaismailoğlu informed that the income flow will continue to increase as of this year, and that these projects will start to provide a direct income flow to the state after 2023, that they will provide a direct income flow in 2030, and that in 2040 the projects will be completely without the operator, the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure. He said that it will turn into the projects he manages. Emphasizing that the BOTs are temporary enterprises, Karaismailoğlu stated that the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge will be delivered to the state in 2026. Noting that there will be important developments in BOT projects, Karaismailoğlu said, “We are especially preparing the Antalya-Alanya Highway tender. We will make the tender as BOT in the summer months. We are also preparing the tender for the Ankara-Kırıkkale-Delice Motorway Project. We will continue to use the BOT model in projects with feasibility.”
WE HAVE A TARGET LIKE REMOVING TRAINS PER HOUR
Karaismailoğlu, who informed that they will put the Ankara-Sivas YHT Line into service by the end of this year, said that the Ankara-İzmir YHT Line works are also continuing. Noting that the tender problems on the said line have been resolved and the work continues rapidly, Karaismrak said, “We have a target to open the Ankara-İzmir YHT Line by the end of 2024. Travel time on the Ankara-Istanbul route, which takes 4 hours with YHT, will be shortened by 45 minutes when the tunnels in Bilecik are completed. When those tunnels are opened towards the end of next year, the time will be reduced to approximately 3 hours and 15 minutes. Apart from that, we also increase the flight hours as demand. "We have a goal of removing trains every hour," he said.
Karaismailoğlu, Kapıkule-Çerkezköy-Halkalı Expressing that the works are continuing on the European line, on the one hand, talks continue with Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary on increasing the capacity, and on the other hand, it is aimed to increase the Ro-Ro line from Izmir to Italy and Spain at sea, and from Karasu to the ports of Constanta, Varna, Russia. reported that they have related projects.
TEST PROCESSES OF DOMESTIC AND NATIONAL TRAIN CONTINUE
Informing that the test processes of the domestic and national train are continuing, Karaismailoğlu stated that the test was carried out up to about 6 thousand kilometers and the certification processes continue. Karaismailoğlu said, “Our domestic and national train will start to carry passengers in the estimated summer months and will have a speed of 160 kilometers per hour. On the one hand, the design work of the train, which can reach a speed of 225 kilometers per hour, continues. Now, while we increase our railway line, we also do very important work on the side of railway vehicles and equipment. As a country that produces its own high-speed train, we are carrying out our projects to run our own trains on our railway line, which will reach 28 thousand kilometers.
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE CENTRAL CORROID IS MUCH MORE CLOSE
Emphasizing that with the construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway Line and the Marmaray, they created an uninterrupted flow from Beijing to London, creating an alternative to the Northern Corridor, Karaismailoğlu stated that they have very important works to develop this line. Karaismailoğlu said that apart from the Russia-Ukraine War period, 5 thousand block trains are organized annually from here, and they are working to get a 30 percent share. Karaismailoğlu, who pointed out that the importance of the Middle Corridor became more apparent with the war period, explained that there is a lack of infrastructure there, but they are trying to use the existing line at full capacity.
Stating that there are new tender works that will triple the capacity on the Divriği-Kars-Ahılkelek line, Minister of Transport Karaismailoğlu noted that there are also studies for a separate corridor over Nahçıvan.
FIRST TEST FLIGHT AT RİZE-ARTVİN AIRPORT CREATED EXCITEMENT IN THE REGION
Minister Karaismailoğlu stated that Rize-Artvin Airport is one of the projects that they attach great importance to, and said, “Works have been recovered in terms of superstructure, now fine works and road connections are being made. Hopefully, we are continuing our preparations to open Rize-Artvin Airport towards the end of May, after eliminating the deficiencies. "The first test flight was made today, it created a stir in the region," he said.
THE IMPORTANCE OF CHANNEL ISTANBUL INCREASED EVEN MORE
Expressing that Kanal Istanbul was designed as a completely alternative waterway, Karaismailoğlu said, “We started our transportation routes in the project, our work on highways and railways started. After presenting the alternatives for transportation needs, we will start the excavation process. Kanal Istanbul is a long-term, high-cost project. We continue to work on financial models, especially in order to carry out the project without burdening the general budget. Hopefully, there will be a serious development there," he said.
Reminding that the importance of the Montreux Straits Convention in the Russia-Ukraine War came to the agenda, there were criticisms that Kanal Istanbul would open this contract to discussion, Karaismailoğlu made the following assessment:
“I think the importance of Kanal Istanbul has increased even more. Those who criticize the production of Kanal Istanbul are only trying to slander this business by turning it into a real estate, rent gossip policy. However, we are talking about a global logistics movement here. Because this is an alternative waterway, it is a project that should be. Therefore, showing them as just a rented real estate project to be used as a tool for a gossip policy shows their simplicity. Big, powerful Turkey has to do these big mega projects. The one that will pass under Kanal Istanbul in transportation projects Halkalı-We started the Ispartakule Railway Project, the Sazlıdere Bridge and Başakşehir-Bahçeşehir-Hadımköy Highway Project were started by designing them according to Kanal İstanbul and the works are continuing. Montreux has nothing to do with Kanal Istanbul. Because this contract is an agreement covering both the Bosphorus, the Sea of Marmara and the Dardanelles. Those who pass through Kanal Istanbul will use both the Sea of Marmara and the Dardanelles. So there is nothing here contrary to Montreux.”
Expressing that there is no change in the planned cost of Kanal Istanbul, Karaismailoğlu stated that there are companies in Turkey that are large enough to do this job, and that there is already a race among the world's leading companies in infrastructure to carry out this project.
WE WILL START OPENING SUBWAYS IN ISTANBUL IN THE SUMMER
Emphasizing that they will start to open subways especially in Istanbul as of summer months, Karaismailoğlu said, “We start with the first Kağıthane-Airport Metro Line, then Kadıköy-We will extend the Kartal-Pendik connection to Sabiha Gökçen. In addition, we aimed to complete the 6,5 km metro line to Çam and Sakura City Hospital by August. The 100-kilometer metro line, which is under the responsibility of the municipality, also needs to be finished as soon as possible. Because these are projects that are planned together and complement each other. That's why we encourage that side, so that these projects are finished as soon as possible and they can serve Istanbul together. We can't see them at the moment, but hopefully they will accelerate a little more in the coming years," he said.