Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Adil Karaismailoğlu attended the General Assembly of the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route Union. Ancient civilizations in the world; Karaismailoğlu noted that it was founded by nations that built, operate and make commercial gains on important trade routes, and said, “The King's Road, which starts from the west of Anatolia and continues to the east and extends to the Persian Gulf, the Spice Road from the Far East to Europe and China. The Silk Road, which stretched from Turkey to Europe, prevented trade from being limited to only a certain region, and helped it spread to different continents and even the world. Today, the historical Silk Road has been revived under the name Iron Silk Road. Thanks to new infrastructure and transportation investments, it is aimed to develop and facilitate trade between Asia and Europe and to increase its volume. Located in the middle of three continents, at the crossing of important water basins such as the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, our country has maintained its advantage for centuries.
WE MAKE SIGNIFICANT INVESTMENTS TO BE A LOGISTIC SUPER POWER IN THE CENTRAL CORIDOR
Pointing out that Turkey is located on the route of many important trade routes at all times, Karaismailoğlu said that Turkey's geography, which includes 4 billion people in 67 different countries, a gross national product of 1,6 trillion dollars and a trade volume of 38 trillion dollars, with a 7-hour flight. He said it was in the center. “The responsibilities given by these advantages increase the burden on our shoulders. It encourages us to work harder for our country and the world,” said Karaismailoğlu, and for this reason, he has long sought to become a global logistics superpower in the Middle Corridor, which covers more than 60 countries, 4,5 billion of the world's population, and 30 percent of the global economy. indicated that significant investments had been made.
Minister of Transport, Karaismailoğlu, said, “I would like to express that we attach great importance to the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route Union, which has reached 84 million and helped Turkey increase its potential with its young and dynamic population, and gained its legal personality in February 2017. With its decisions and practices, the Union facilitates trade in the Trans-Caspian region, increases the mobility of goods and the attractiveness of the Middle Corridor. between member countries; Ensuring tariff unity, applying uniform transportation processes from the first kilometer to the last kilometer of the route, increasing the transportation by directing the transit and commercial loads on the route, and ensuring the diversity of logistics products are also extremely important. The electronic integration system established to facilitate the border crossings of freight trains has a catalytic effect on the crossings.
Pointing out that the pandemic process has once again revealed the importance of railway transportation and that global trade has increased its interest in railways, Karaismailoğlu said that the use of railways has increased in Turkey in this direction. Pointing out that these were not achieved in a day, Karaismailoğlu continued his speech as follows:
“It was the result of long and precise planning. And so to speak, we carried out a reform. We increased the load carrying capacity from 2020 million tons in 35 by 10% to 2021 million tons by the end of 38. In particular, our international shipments increased by 2021 percent in 24. Our goal is to increase these figures even more, to make the railway one of the strongest parts of transportation. In this direction, I would like to state that we are planning to create a carrying capacity of 26 million tons in a total area of 19 million square meters in 73,2 logistics centers. Turkey is a country that has increased its effectiveness in the Middle Corridor, with the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway line that we put into operation on October 30, 2017. The first block transit container train between China and Europe, which departed from Xi'an city of China to Prague city of Czechia, passed through Ankara on November 6, 2019 and reached Europe by using Marmaray in Istanbul. After the pandemic, an additional capacity increase of 3 tons per day was carried out for the transfer station in Georgia's Ahılteke Region in order to meet the increasing load demands on this line. From the opening of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Line until the end of April 500, nearly 2022 million 1 thousand tons of cargo was transported. Our main goal for the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars route is to operate 70 blocks of trains per year and to reduce the 500-day cruise time between China and Turkey to 12 days.”
SUSTAINABILITY IS IMPORTANT IN GLOBAL TRADE
Noting that the principle of sustainability is also important in global trade, Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Karaismailoğlu reminded that in March last year, the Ever Given cargo ship ran aground in the Suez Canal and the world trade on this line was locked bilaterally for a week. Karaismailoğlu said, “This crisis in the Suez Canal, where 12 percent of global trade takes place, costs the world 10 billion dollars a day.”
Referring to the current developments, Karaismailoğlu pointed out that the Russia-Ukraine War that has been taking place since February and the tensions in the region have also put the Northern Corridor into trouble. Stating that the Middle Corridor is a strong alternative for the North Corridor in terms of distance and time, Karaismailoğlu said, “A freight train departing from China to Europe covers 7 thousand kilometers in 12 days if it chooses the Middle Corridor and Turkey. If the same train prefers the Russian Northern Trade Route, there is a distance of 10 thousand kilometers and a travel time of at least 15 days. If the same train chooses the Southern Corridor by ship, it can travel 20 thousand kilometers over the Suez Canal and reach Europe in only 45 to 60 days. Even these figures reveal how advantageous and secure the Middle Corridor is in global trade, between Asia and Europe.”
MIDDLE CORROID GAVE IMPORTANCE WITH BTK RAILWAY LINE
Explaining that the Middle Corridor gained importance with the commissioning of the BTK Railway Line in 2017, Karaismailoğlu said, “With the start of freight trains from Marmaray in 2020, we have provided an uninterrupted railway connection between Asia and Europe. Kars Logistics Center further strengthened the importance of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars line. The importance given to the railway has become stronger both within the framework of the transformation in global trade routes, the future goals of our country, and the Green Agreement, which aims a carbon neutral Europe in 2050. Within the framework of our Transportation and Logistics Master Plan, our target of increasing the share of railways in transportation from 5 percent to 22 percent is the most concrete indicator of the value we attach. The opportunities it offers in terms of increasing cooperation between the countries of the region and strengthening their integration into the global economy are the factors that support our determination. With these opportunities, the Middle Corridor will undoubtedly be one of the most important links of world trade with the coordinated cooperation of the countries of the region.
RİZE-ARTVİN AIRPORT WILL OPEN ON MAY 14 WITH THE PRESIDENCE OF OUR PRESIDENT
Emphasizing that they will further strengthen the Middle Corridor by giving a breath of fresh air to the maritime trade in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean with the project of the century, Kanal Istanbul, Minister of Transport Karaismailoğlu said, “With our increasing importance to the railway and our investments focused on the Middle Corridor in different transportation modes, we contribute to facilitating the use of the route and increasing its preference. we offer. We are accelerating the transitions on the line with our investments.” Stating that Marmaray, which connects Asia and Europe with an uninterrupted railway line, was put into service in 2013, Karaismailoğlu said that there are only a few days left until the Rize-Artvin Airport, which is Turkey's 2nd and the world's 5th sea-filling airport, is put into service for the nation and the world. stated that the airport will be opened on May 14 with the presence of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Transport Minister Karaismailoğlu noted that the number of airports will thus be increased from 26 to 58.
WE WILL INCREASE THE RAILWAY SHARE IN OUR TRANSPORTATION BUDGET TO 2023 PERCENT IN 60
Expressing that they will continue to bring mobility to the Middle Corridor with sea port connections in addition to railways, Karaismailoğlu said, “As Turkey, we consider our railways as priority projects. We increased the share of railways in our transportation budget to 2020 percent in 47. In 2023, we will increase this rate to 60 percent. In railways, we will increase the share of passenger transportation from 0,96 percent to 6,20 percent. In addition, the share of freight transport will increase from 5 percent to 22 percent. The number of provinces with High Speed Train and High Speed Train connection will be increased from 8 to 52. We will increase annual passenger transport from 19,5 million to 270 million. Annual freight transportation will reach 55 million tons from 448 million tons. Turkey will have a safe, fast, efficient and effective railway infrastructure as soon as possible. Let no one doubt that. Roads are the lifeblood of not only countries but also regional economy and intercontinental trade. We compare roads to rivers because they stimulate production, employment, trade, culture and tourism in the places they pass through. Among all transportation modes that we consider integrated, railways provide invaluable contributions to our nation and international trade. We show the necessary sensitivity to benefit from this mode of transportation in the most effective way and to bring it to our nation and the world. Especially considering the global factors that direct the transportation of the future; environmentally friendly, fast, safe and smart transportation systems will be the rising values of the coming period. From this point of view, it is clear that railways and high-speed train systems will develop further, especially in international freight transportation.