European Union Attracted €729 Million To The Transport Sector In Turkey
Investments under the 2007-2013 EU Transportation Operational Programme in the framework of Turkey`s EU accession process came to a close on 8 December 2017. The closing ceremony held at Wyndham Hotel in Ankara brought together Aylin Çağlayan Özkan, Director of Sectoral Policies from the Ministry for EU Affairs, Francois Begeot, Head of Economic and Social Development Section of the EU Delegation to Turkey and Dr. Özkan Poyraz, Deputy Undersecretary of the Ministry of Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communication to assess the achievements of the 7-year programme.
Under the Instrument for Pre-Accession`s (IPA) first phase in Turkey in 2007-2013 the EU provided grants into Turkish transport infrastructure of € 592 million, through 3 major infrastructure and 9 technical support projects. The program value totalled € 729 million with Turkey's co-financing.
Given the important share of highways in passenger and freight transport in Turkey, the EU's financial assistance has prioritized railway projects. In this mainframe, a significant portion of financial assistance has been extended to construction projects for the improvement and modernisation of the railway infrastructure. 849 km of railways have been built as part of the programme, 2,572 people were employed in these projects and a total of 107 stations and 229 bridges and tunnels were renovated.
Turkey's first transportation master plan has been developed within the scope of the programme, drawing a comprehensive framework that sets targets to define all transportation projects and sectoral reforms to be carried out until 2035. The Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communication`s decision–making and monitoring capacity has furthermore been strengthened and transportation information systems have been developed within the framework of the EU`s Transport Operational Programme.
On the occasion of the closing event the Head of the EU Delegation to Turkey, Ambassador Christian Berger, said; 'The EU has provided highly positive and significant contributions in the transportation sector in Turkey in the last decade. Many reforms in the railways, aviation, maritime and land transport sectors have been launched with the EU contribution. All EU investments aim to connect Turkey better to EU transport networks for the benefit of people and businesses in Turkey, as well as the environment. This will ultimately strengthen our economies and render us all better off in the future."
With an updated vision and revised approach, EU-Turkey cooperation in the field of transportation has a broader scope in the second phase of IPA covering 2014-2020 (IPA-II). The EU and Turkey will firmly continue joint cooperation and investments for a smart and safe transportation infrastructure in view of a balanced utilisation of all transport modes and reducing carbon emissions. In the new period traffic safety, smart transportation systems, and urban transportation will be prioritized, together with the completion of the Halkalı – Kapıkule railway line as the flagship infrastructure project.
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