The Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge or the Third Bosphorus Bridge is a bridge built on the northern side of the Bosphorus overlooking the Black Sea. The name was given to Selim I, the ninth Ottoman sultan and the first Ottoman caliph. The bridge route is located in Sarıyer's Garipçe neighborhood on the European side and Poyrazköy district of Beykoz on the Anatolian side.
The bridge is the widest in the world with a width of 59 meters, the world's tallest in the slant suspension bridge class with a tower height of 322 meters, the suspension bridge with the second highest tower in all bridge classes and the longest with a rail system with a main span of 1.408 meters, it is the ninth among all suspension bridges. It is the suspension bridge with the longest middle span. The foundation was laid in May 2013, and it was opened to traffic in August 27 after it was built for $ 8,5 billion in 2016 months.
In the tender, the Bridge and the Northern Marmara Motorway Project were planned to be built with the build-operate-transfer model of Odayeri-Paşaköy and the remaining parts of the Northern Marmara Motorway with equity. Due to the fact that the investment is exempt from VAT, its tender has been postponed for 15 days. A re-tender was held on April 20. 11 companies submitted bids in the tender where 5 companies received specifications.
- Salini-Gülermak Joint Venture
- İçtaş Construction Industry Trade Inc.-Astaldi Joint Venture Group,
- China Communications Construction-Doğuş Construction Trade Inc.-Yapı Merkezi-Arkon Construction Joint Venture,
- Mapa Construction and Trade Inc.
- Cengiz Construction-Kolin Construction-Limak Construction-Makyol Construction-Kalyon Construction
The contract was won by the partnership of İçtaş-Astaldi (Italian), which gave the shortest construction and operation period with 29 years 2012 months and 10 days on May 2, 20. The contractor firm received $ 2,3 billion in loans from seven banks.  The foundation of the bridge was laid on May 29, 2013, with the participation of the then president Abdullah Gül and the then prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
On March 6, 2016, with the participation of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, then Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and then Minister of Transport Binali Yıldırım, the two continents were united for the third time with the assembly of the last deck on the bridge.
The construction of a third bridge on the Bosphorus started to be mentioned since the 2s, considering that the 2000 bridges currently on the Bosphorus could not function properly, especially due to the excessive density experienced at certain times of the day. The first concrete step was taken in 2009 during the 60th government period. The prime minister of the period, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and the Minister of Transport of the period, Binali Yıldırım, argued that the third bridge was necessary and should be built in a short time, and made expeditions by helicopter to determine the route of the bridge.
The location of the bridge remained unclear for a long time, and various claims were made about the route, but especially the forest-covered northern parts of the city came to the fore. Gürsel Tekin, the Istanbul provincial chairman of the Republican People's Party of the period, made a press statement with the documents he prepared with the knowledge of Erdoğan and claimed that the third bridge will be built between Beykoz and Tarabya. He stated that the highway to be built for the bridge starts from the forested areas of Silivri and that the highway will damage the forests and water basins of Istanbul. He said that tens of thousands of acres of land on the route the highway will pass through have changed hands, and that they have other documents to share if their claims are denied.
Gürsel Tekin's claims were not denied by the government, but it was underlined that the exact route is still unclear. In his press statement, Minister of Transport Binali Yıldırım said that the third bridge will be built to the north of the other two bridges, and that the ends will be between Tarabya-Beykoz or Sarıyer-Beykoz, and that no final decision has been made.
The details of the motorway that will be built with the bridge and the bridge were processed in the 25 thousand scale development plans. However, Çorlu-Çerkezköy It is also planned to build a third airport in the region, to open the Riva area to tourism in the northern part of the Anatolian Side, and to build a large technopark near Izmit. It is said that the bridge will be predominantly tunnel and viaduct in order not to damage the forest lands and drinking water basins in the north. In addition, contrary to its predecessors, it was reported that the bridge will be built by the private sector, not by the state, but by the build-operate-transfer model. In the press statement made by Minister of Transport Binali Yıldırım on 29 April 2010, it was stated that the exact route of the third bridge was between Garipçe and Poyrazköy. It has been reported that the cost of the bridge, including expropriation costs and construction expenses, will be more than 6 billion dollars.
During the groundbreaking ceremony, then President Abdullah Gül announced that the name of the bridge will be Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge, after Selim I (1470-1520), the ninth sultan of the Ottoman Empire. Selim I, who ruled in 1512-1520, expanded the borders by conquering the Middle East and North Africa during the rise of the empire, and conquered Egypt in 1517 and transferred the caliphate to the Ottoman dynasty. His nickname, Yavuz, was widely used in Ottoman and Turkish history books.
The name of the bridge led to the reaction of the Alevis in Turkey. Alevis demanded that the name of Selim I, who was called Yavuz because of his harsh rule, was the symbol of the persecution inflicted on them in the Ottoman Empire. During the Şahkulu Rebellion in Anatolia (1511) and the Battle of Çaldıran in Northwest Iran (1514), Alevi Kızılbaş warriors took a stance in favor of the Safavid shah Ismail I, who was from the Shiite sect of Islam, and according to various sources, this is why Selim I. After these events that resulted in Ottoman supremacy, he ordered the murder of the Kızılbaş declared traitors and infidels.
Discussions about the name of the bridge as Yavuz Sultan Selim continued after the opening. In 2017, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in response to the criticism directed at him about naming, "I did not name the bridge Tayyip Erdogan, you see how modest I am." He said and stated that he was an important sultan who ruled wide borders during the period of Selim I.
The construction of the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge started simultaneously in the Garipçe and Poyrazköy locations where both legs of the bridge sit. The construction of the piers whose foundation was laid on 29 May 2013 was completed on 24 October 2014. Bridge piers are 330 meters above sea level and 322 and 320 meters long from the beginning of the ground.
More than 700 people worked in the project, 8000 of which were engineers. The widest tunnel in Europe with a diameter of 22 meters is also being built in the project. 923 steel decks, the heaviest of which are 53 tons, were used in the project. This steel plate from South Korea for the deck it was processed in Turkey.
Approximately 4.000 LED luminaires were installed on the bridge by a team of 11 climbers. 16 million colored luminaires will perform light games on the bridge. The cost of this part is approximately $ 5 million.
During the construction of the bridge, in the construction of the viaduct, 3 workers died on April 5, 2014, when the pier, which was given a suitable report the day before, although it was built indiscriminately.
The government has planned to plant four trees for each tree felled under the project. 300.000 trees on the project route have been transferred to other locations. Within the scope of the project, it was decided to affores 1400 hectares of land, and within the scope of this plan, the commitment was fulfilled for approximately 1100 hectares. In addition to the remaining 300 hectares, it has been decided to afforest 1000 hectares of land due to additional roads. If afforestation commitments are fulfilled, 2400 hectares of land will be afforested. According to official figures, 2,5 million trees have been planted in this project today. The total number of trees to be planted within the scope of the project is 5,1 million. According to the agreements made with the General Directorate of Forestry of the Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs, ICA will plant 604 thousand saplings on the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge and Northern Marmara Motorway Project route.
The bridge was opened with an official ceremony on 26 August 2016. The ceremony was the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, Bosnia and Herzegovina Presidential Council Chairman Bakir Izetbegović, Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov, Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, 11th President of Turkey Abdullah Gul, Ahmet Davutoglu, the former Prime Minister, Parliament Speaker Ismail Kahraman, Turkey's Prime minister Binali Yildirim, Chief of Staff Hulusi, as liquid as Bulgarian Prime minister Boyko Borisov, Pakistan Punjab State Prime minister Shahbaz Sharif, Serbian Deputy Prime minister Rasim Ljajic, the minister Georgian first Deputy Prime minister many with Dimitri Kumsisihvil, the deputies and the public attended.
On 27 August 2016 at 00:00, the bridge was opened to vehicle traffic. It was also announced that passes will be free until August 31, 2016.