The opening of the Ankara-Sivas High Speed Train line, which was planned to be opened today by President and AKP Chairman Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, was postponed for the 7th time. The United Transport Workers Union (BTS) had warned that there was a risk of accidents due to the line being put into service before it was completed.
According to the news of T24 writer Eray Görgülü, TCDD planned the opening ceremony on September 2008, the anniversary of the Sivas Congress, on the grounds that the Ankara-Sivas YHT line, whose foundation was laid in 13, could not be completed for 4 years, was completed. The ceremony was included in the draft program of President Erdogan. Sivas Governor Salih Ayhan and Sivas Mayor Hilmi Bilgin also visited Sivas Station on Wednesday before the opening and examined the final preparations on site.
Accident risk warning
However, there were criticisms that the Ankara-Sivas YHT line, the opening of which was postponed six times and the cost exceeded 10 billion TL, was not completed. BTS Secretary General İsmail Özdemir said that the train can travel between Kayaş-Balıseyh stations on the conventional line (classical train line) at a speed of 60 kilometers per hour, and this would pose a risk of accident. Özdemir stated that the level crossings that have not been completed yet are also risky. It was learned that the opening, which was included in the draft program of the President, was abandoned at the last moment with the warnings of the relevant experts.
It had turned into a crisis
Since the Ankara-Sivas YHT line could not be completed for years, it also turned into a crisis within the AKP. Addressing the people in Sivas, where he went in February for the 2019 local election rally, President Erdoğan said, “The Minister of Transport is also here. He warned Minister Cahit Turhan with the words "If he doesn't follow up and finish the job, thank you, goodbye". Seven months later, Erdoğan addressed Turhan in a program he attended again in Sivas and said, “According to him, I have conveyed the word I received from you here. Okay, we'll hold tight. Now the ball is out of me. I guess if he doesn't fulfill his promise, we will pull the rope differently, according to him”. Turhan, who was dismissed by Erdoğan on March 29, 2020, became the first dismissed minister of the Presidential Government System.