Situated on some of the world’s most lucrative trade routes connecting Asia, Africa and Europe, Turkey is now rapidly expanding its transportation and logistics infrastructure to cater to its future role as both an energy and industrial global hub, as well as an increasing magnet for both regional and international tourism.
The government’s latest policies are focussed on private and foreign investment, and partnerships, with the total amount of projects involved estimated to be worth some $60bn.
Although Turkey itself imports virtually all of its energy needs other than coal, nearly three-quarters of the world’s oil and gas reserves lie in its neighbouring countries – in Iraq and the Gulf states, the Caspian region and Russia. New trans-continental pipelines and shipping terminals carrying oil and gas from Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Kurdistan and the new, rich finds in the Eastern Mediterranean to Europe, as well as from Russia south to Turkey and the Levant, are either planned or being built.
Turkey’s own access to imported oil and gas is also expected to increase dramatically as a result, leading to the creation of huge new industrial zones and petrochemical and refining complexes, a trend which is also accelerating the escalating demand for state-of-the-art road, rail, shipping and aviation facilities. The result, as Turkey’s Minister of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications, Binal Yilirim, confirms, is that Anatolia – which comprises the central and eastern parts of Turkey – is “a massive construction site”.
In this month’s edition of The Middle East , Pamela Ann Smith reports on Turkey’s ambitions for it’s infrastructure and the many road and rail projects construction projects that are in the works.
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