Turkish Minister: Telecommunications Directorate must be reformed
Turkey's Transport and Communications Minister says Telecommunications Directorate (TIB) needs to be restructured and transport infrastructure such as third airports, third bridge are Turkish citizens’ top priority

Turkey's Communications Minister said on Monday that the country's Telecommunications Directorate (TIB) needs to be restructured after unchecked and damaging activities took place in the department.

Turkey's Transport and Communications Minister Lutfi Elvan visited the Anadolu Agency's Editor’s Desk on Monday and responded to questions regarding the Turkish wiretapping scandal.

He also discussed the latest developments concerning the construction of the country’s third airport and rail networks.

Elvan said the Turkish government completed all its plans for the restructuring of the Directorate. "We will be ready to discuss it in the cabinet in the coming weeks,” he said.

Elvan also said large-scale illegal activities took place in the Directorate and they were published on social media before the country’s local and presidential election this year with the aim of discrediting Turkey's economy and the country's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

TIB is the state agency in charge of legal monitoring of communications in the country.

On Twitter's failure to block certain accounts Elvan said "Companies will be fined if they do not implement local court decisions."


Third Bosphorus bridge to be opened in October 2015

Minister Elvan also said that Istanbul's third bridge across the Bosphorus would be opened in October 2015.

"The towers of the third bridge have reached 312 meters in height and 10 meters are still left to be completed," Elvan said.

The minister said: "We aim to launch the opening of the bridge on Oct. 29, 2015." The bridge, also known as Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge, will open on the 86th anniversary of the Turkish Republic.

Elvan also said infrastructure works on the Ordu-Giresun Airport located off Turkey’s Black Sea coast were completed.

The minister said they wanted to open the airport -- built on an artificial island -- on March of 2015.


"Top priority"

Commenting on some opposition by European media regarding the third airport in Istanbul, the Transport Minister said "the national will and demand of our nation are important for us. Transport infrastructure such as third airport, third bridge are our citizens’ top priority... No one can prevent us from building them."

The construction of Istanbul's third airport, set to be the biggest air transfer hub in Europe when it opens in 2018, started on June of this year.

In 20 years’ time, Istanbul airports' commercial aircraft traffic will exceed one million aircrafts and will host 118 million passengers per year, according to a 2010 forecast by Turkey's Middle East Technical University.

The Cengiz-Kolin-Limak-Mapa-Kalyon Consortium, a joint venture of Turkish companies, won the tender for the third Istanbul airport in May 2013, promising to pay the state 22.1 billion euros, plus taxes, over 25 years starting in 2017.


Railway investment

Elvan unveiled a future transportation project during his speech and said they planned to construct a railway over Canakkale Strait, or Dardanelles Strait.

The minister said the government would make an 8.5 billion Turkish lira ($3.6 billion) investment on railways in 2015 and added that they planned a 12 billion lira investment per year as of 2016.

According to the minister, Turkey wanted to launch the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars rail route by the end of 2015 which will link Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey.

"The country started building its railways in the mid-19th century during the Ottoman Empire and the development of the railways also continued during first years of the Republic of Turkey," Elvan said.

"But development was neglected until 2003, when the AK party came to power in Turkey. We increased investment on railways to 8.5 billion liras from 3-4 billion liras a few years ago," he said.

The country aims to reach its goal of 25,000 kilometers of rail line with 3,500 kilometers high-speed train railway and 8,500 kilometers regular railway by 2023, the centenary anniversary of the Turkish Republic.

Last Modified: 2014-12-22 12:09:44
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