Istanbul’s iconic third airport, set to be the largest in the world once completed in 2018/19, will be named after the country’s new president-elect, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The new airport is expected to serve 150 million passengers per year, replacing Turkey’s current main air hub in Istanbul, which is named after Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey.
Transport, Maritime and Communication Minister Lütfi Elvan commented: “He [Erdogan] deserves it. If there is stability in this country, if we continue to grow and our economic competitiveness continues to increase, we owe this all to Erdogan. Whatever is done will not be worthy of him, because he has given so much effort over the years.”
National carrierTurkish Airlines will be the anchor tenant at the new airport and this week reported its passenger numbers increased by 15.2 per cent to 31 million people in the first seven months of the 2014.
Meanwhile, in other positive transport news, figures from the Turkish Statistical Institute show that the new Marmaray tunnel connecting Istanbul‘s Asian and European sides has transported 21.5 million people since its opening last year.
The Marmaray opened on the 90th anniversary of Turkish Republic‘s foundation on October 29th and, according to Turkish State Railways, around 175,000 people use the increasingly popular tunnel every day.
The 13.6-kiometre tunnel is 60 metres under the water and allows travellers to cross from Istanbul’s European side to the Asian side in four minutes. It is one of a number of ambitious infrastructure projects instigated by Erdogan’s government during his time as prime minister and has been credited as helping to open up the Istanbul real estate market and driving interest in property in previously less accessible parts of the city.