Turkey opens a bridge connecting Europe and Asia | The Murray Valley Standard

President Tayyip Erdogan has opened a massive suspension bridge across Turkey’s Dardanelles Strait, the latest in a series of major infrastructure projects he has prioritized during his two decades in office.

Connecting the European and Asian shores of Turkey, the 1915 Canakkale Bridge was built by Turkish and South Korean companies with an investment of 2.5 billion euros (3.7 billion Australian dollars).

It has the longest main span – the distance between the two towers – of any suspension bridge in the world.

These megaprojects have been at the heart of Erdogan’s achievements since his AK party came to power in 2002, including a new Istanbul airport, rail and road tunnels under Istanbul’s Bosphorus strait and a bridge over Istanbul. above.

“These works will continue to bring benefits to the state for many years to come,” Erdogan said at an opening ceremony on the anniversary of an Ottoman naval victory over attacking French and British forces. the Dardanelles during the First World War.

The failure of the naval campaign led to the ill-fated 1915 landing on the Gallipoli Peninsula by the allies led by Britain and France with troops from Australia and New Zealand.

“These projects go a long way in giving our country a head start in investment, labor and export,” he said.

On Friday, South Korean Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum was also present at the ceremony.

“The 1915 Canakkale Bridge will leave behind this history of collisions and conflicts and will be a bridge between East and West, starting a new era of peace and prosperity,” Kim said.

Last year it launched what it previously called its “crazy project”: a $15 billion (A$20 billion) canal in Istanbul to relieve pressure on the busy Bosphorus Strait.

However, critics questioned the viability of the project given Turkey’s economic difficulties, environmental risks and public opposition.

Ahead of the general elections scheduled for 2023, opinion polls showed a decline in popularity for Erdogan and his AKP party, increasing the opposition’s chances of ousting him.

The main opposition CHP party has criticized the bridge’s potential cost to public purse, with media saying the build-operate-transfer deal includes an annual payment guarantee of 380 million euros to operators, a total of 6 billion euros over the duration of the agreement.

Erdogan said the price for passenger vehicles to use the bridge would be 200 lira (A$18.25).

Work on the Dardanelles Bridge project was launched in March 2017, with more than 5,000 workers involved in the construction.

The 2023-meter length of its median span is an allusion to the 100th anniversary of the Turkish Republic in 2023.

It is the fourth bridge connecting the European and Asian shores in Turkey, alongside the three built in Istanbul.

Its towers are 318 meters high and the total length of the bridge is 4.6 km, including the approach viaducts.

Until now, vehicles traveling between Anatolia and the Gallipoli peninsula had to cross the Dardanelles in an hour’s journey by ferry, the waiting time of which reached up to five hours.

The journey will now take about six minutes.

Australian Associated Press

Previous Tech and retail giants are embracing solar power
Next Effect of training on child neglect and abuse for teachers and its effect on awareness | BMC Public Health