Speaking at Anadolu Agency’s Editors’ Desk in Ankara Wednesday, Ahmet Arslan said: “We want to make quicker decisions related to transportation projects. We want to implement these projects as soon as possible after a decision is made and get rid of such bureaucracy."

Arslan said the Transport Ministry was building ring around the Marmara Sea to ease traffic flow in Turkey's economic heart.

Arslan said the construction of the 2,023-meter Canakkale Bridge between Lapseki and Gelibolu in Turkey’s northwestern Canakkale province will start by March 18 this year and would open in 2023.

Some 24 companies were trying to get a piece of the project.

"Almost half of these companies are foreign, from China, South Korea, Japan and Italy. There are very large companies that have been doing business in the country and abroad. Whoever gives the shortest time will win the construction bid," Arslan said.

He said Turkey will continue its major infrastructure projects despite global economic slowdown.

The ministry was also working on five different routes for Kanal Istanbul, which is an artificial sea route to be built in parallel to the Bosphorus so as to connect the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara.

According to the ministry, the canal will provide relief to the shipping traffic, particularly those involving oil tankers passing through the Bosphorus. It has a designed capacity of 160 vessels per day and is scheduled for completion by 2023 at a cost of $15 billion.

Turkey’s mega projects

In 2015, Turkey raised the bar with the financial closure of seven projects totaling a record $44.7 billion, according to data released by the World Bank Group.

Ankara has been working to build Istanbul’s third airport, which is under construction in the Arnavutkoy district of Istanbul, on the city’s European side.

The new airport will reach 90 million people annually when the first phase gets completed. After the second phase, the capacity will increase to 200 million people per year, according to the Transport Ministry.

The parliament last week approved a constitutional change package, which included shifting the current parliamentary system of governance to a presidential one. After President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signs the bill, a public referendum is expected in the first half of April.

Anadolu Agency