Infrastructure in Turkey
Turkey’s Infrastructure Holds Up
Turkey’s infrastructure is impressive for what is still an emerging market, but will face challenges accommodating their exploding population in coming years. Still, though, Turkey’s infrastructure holds up against EU-member nations.
Turkey’s air infrastructure is well-developed throughout the country, with over 100 airports (about 20 of them are international). Istanbul’s three major airports receive most of the country’s air traffic. In 2013 Istanbul Atatürk Airport was named Airport Of The Year (Air Transport News), Europe’s Best Airport (Skytrax World Airport Awards), was the 10th most trafficked airport in the world, and the 5th busiest in Europe. The trend in traffic through Istanbul is continuously on the rise; in 2014 Atatürk was the 4th busiest airport in Europe.
Turkey also has highly developed coastal and maritime infrastructure with 70% of its borders being coastline. The country’s economy depends heavily on merchant marine and fishing fleets from its various surrounding seas. Communications infrastructure is excellent, as is the national road system.
The national rail system is the least developed aspect of the country. While there is quite a bit of track laid throughout the country, only about one-fifth of it is electrified. All the rails are state owned and operated. This makes improvement or expansion difficult; politicians aren’t interested in revamping the railroads. Trains have been all but abandoned as modes of transportation in Turkey.
Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey, is the economic, cultural, and historical hub of the nation, and houses more than 14.4 million people. Not surprisingly, much of the modern infrastructural innovation and improvement has been based in Istanbul, which now offers residents a metro, a tram, buses, ferries, taxis (both land and water), excellent roads and supporting traffic control infrastructure.
While interior regions of the country may not boast such outstanding infrastructure, major cities and coastal areas are well-serviced.