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Turkey opposition vows to build new ‘mega-city’ in Anatolia 22 mai 2015

Posted by Acturca in Economy / Economie, Turkey / Turquie.
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Agence France Presse (AFP)

Thursday, May 21, 2015, Istanbul

Turkey’s main opposition party on Thursday unveiled a plan to build a new mega-city in the centre of the country, in a bid to outflank the ambitious infrastructure projects of the ruling party ahead of elections.

Seeking not to be outdone by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s self-proclaimed « crazy projects », the Republican People’s Party (CHP) said the new city would create 2.2 million new jobs over the next two decades.

« The project would give a great push to the Turkish economy and would make our country an economic actor in the region that cannot be ignored, » CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu said in Istanbul.

He said the new city would eventually have three million inhabitants and could start working as soon as 2020.

At a crossroads between Europe and Asia, the city would be the « project of the century », Kilicdaroglu said.

In order to realise the project, $160 billion (145 billion euros) in foreign and Turkish investments would be needed over the next 20 years, he added.

Kilicdaroglu did not give the precise location of the new city but said it would be at the geographical heart of Turkey which would put it in Anatolia east of Ankara.

The CHP, of modern Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, has consistently failed to make inroads at elections after the ruling Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP) swept to power in 2002 polls.

The project received a mixed reaction on social networks with some applauding its ambition but other saying the CHP would have to do more to beat the AKP.

« At last a smart project that does not consist of bridges, roads and tunnels only, » tweeted Zafer Gursoy.

But user @doctorhan said: « This is what happens when you feel obliged to promise something. Try harder. »

Polls show that the AKP is almost certain to again win the most seats in the June 7 legislative polls but the CHP is hoping to erode its majority and prevent it from grabbing the constitutional majority it wants to create a presidential system in Turkey.

Erdogan, who co-founded the AKP and served over a decade as premier before becoming president in 2014, has put ambitious infrastructure projects at the heart of his drive for a « new Turkey ».

The authorities have already built a metro line underneath the Bosphorus between Europe and Asia in Istanbul, and are now promising a third airport in the city and an ultra-fast train line that will reduce travel time to Ankara to just 1.5 hours.

Erdogan on Thursday travelled to the Adiyaman province in southern Turkey to attend the ceremonial opening of another grand project, the giant Nissibi Euphrates Bridge on the Lake Ataturk Dam on the Euphrates river.

The suspension road bridge is the third longest in Turkey with a total length of 610 metres (0.4 miles).

« The June 7 elections are very important. Either old Turkey will prevail or the new Turkey, » Erdogan said

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