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Transport in Turkey

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Transport in Turkey

This article deals with the system of transport in Turkey, both public and private.


  • Railways 1
    • Railway links with adjacent countries 1.1
    • 2007 1.2
  • Light rail 2
  • Road transport 3
    • Public road transport 3.1
    • Road network 3.2
    • Car ownership 3.3
  • Waterways 4
  • Pipelines 5
  • Ports and harbors 6
    • Black Sea 6.1
    • Aegean Sea 6.2
    • Mediterranean Sea 6.3
    • Sea of Marmara 6.4
  • Merchant marine 7
  • Airport and airlines 8
    • Airports - with paved runways 8.1
    • Airports - with unpaved runways 8.2
    • Heliports 8.3
  • See also 9
  • References 10


The TCDD - Türkiye Devlet Demir Yolları (Turkish State Railways) possess 10,984 km of 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) gauge, of which 2,336 km are electrified (2005).[1] (Map)

There are daily regular passenger trains all through the network.[2] TCDD has started an investment program of building 10.000 km high-speed lines until 2023. By February 2014, three high speed train routes are running. Ankara-Eskisehir, Ankara-Konya and Eskisehir-Konya.

The freight transportation is mainly organized as block trains for domestic routes, since TCDD discourages under 200 to loads by surcharges.

In 2004, Marmaray project started on a rail tunnel under the Bosphorus straits.

Between Istanbul and Ankara, a high speed railroad line is being constructed now next to the normal speed railroad which is being renovated. When finished, travel time between the two major cities will reduce from 6,5 hours to 3 hours and 10 minutes, using trains ordered from Spain that can reach up to 250 km/h. Construction of a high speed railroad line between Ankara and Konya was begun in order to connect the two cities with a direct line and reduced travel time from several hours to approximately one hour. The high speed railroad line between Ankara and Konya was finished in 3 June 2011 and was put into service in 23 August 2011. Several other high speed and normal railroad projects are currently in the planning stage.[3]

Because of works connected with the Marmaray and Istanbul-Ankara high speed line there are currently no rail services linking Istanbul with the rest of Anatolia. The suburban services from Haydarpaşa terminate at Pendik where the train tracks end.

Cities with underground railway systems are Ankara, Istanbul, İzmir, Bursa, and Adana.

Railway links with adjacent countries

  • Georgia - under construction
  • Armenia - closed (see Kars Gyumri Akhalkalaki railway line)[4]
  • Bulgaria - open - 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
  • Greece - open - 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) (Note: Passenger services as Express of Friendship/Filia suspended from 13 February 2012 [5])
  • break-of-gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)/1,520 mm (4 ft 11 2732 in).
  • Iran - via Lake Van train ferry - same gauge
  • Iraq - No direct link, traffic routed via Syria - same gauge
  • Syria - open - 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)


Light rail

İZBAN commuter train in İzmir

After almost 30 years without any trams, Turkey is experiencing a revival in trams. Established in 1992, the tram system of Istanbul earned the best large-scale tram management award in 2005. Another award winning tram network belongs to Eskişehir, (EsTram) a city with a new tram system opened in 2004. Several other cities are planning or constructing tram lines, usually with modern low-floow trams.

By 2014, there have been 12 cities in Turkey using metro, light rail and tram systems. They are Istanbul, Izmir, Ankara, Bursa, Eskisehir, Kayseri, Gaziantep, Konya, Samsun, Adana, Antalya and Adapazari. The total network is more than 500 kilometers and the rolling stock exceeds 1800 by now.[6]

One example of something in between Metro and trams is the "Ankaray" system in the city of Ankara, Turkey. Ankaray is called "light metro", but the vehicles are clearly heavier and longer than usual trams, and also mostly underground and grade-separated. It could be called a metro but isn't since there is a separate system called Ankara Metro.

Road transport

Public road transport

There are numerous private bus companies providing connections between cities in Turkey. For local trips to villages there are dolmuşes, small vans that seat about twenty passengers. As of 2010, number of road vehicles is around 15 million. The number of vehicles by type and use is as follows.[7]

Road network

  • Total network: 426,906 km
  • Paved: 177,550 km (2004)
Motorways: 2,080 km (2010)
Dual carriageways: 16,784 km (2010)[8]
  • Unpaved 249,356 km (2004)

As of 2010, number of tunnels is 155 (total length 99.5 km), number of bridges is 6447 (total length 296.3 km).[9][10]

Road map of Turkey as of 2010: Highways in Turkey.

Car ownership

According to the figures released by Turkey's statistics authority (TurkStat) the total number of motor vehicles in Turkey reached 15.023 million as of November 2010.[11] The provinces with the highest rates of car ownership were:-

Total number of passenger cars was 6,472,156 at the end of 2007. Total number of motor vehicles (excluding tractors and construction vehicles) was 11,695,611 at the end of 2007.[12][13][14] The number of passenger cars had increased to 9,800,000 by 2010.[15]


about 1,200 km


gas 10,706 km; oil 3,636 km; Total:14,342 km (2010)

Ports and harbors

Black Sea

Aegean Sea

Mediterranean Sea

Sea of Marmara

Merchant marine

total: 565 ships (1,000 gross register tons (GRT) or over) totaling 4,663,353 GRT/7,039,492 tonnes deadweight (DWT)
ships by type: by type: bulk carrier 96, cargo ship 262, chemical tanker 58, combination ore/oil 1, container ship 30, liquefied gas 7, passenger 4, passenger/cargo ship 48, petroleum tanker 32, refrigerated cargo ship 1, roll-on/roll-off 25, specialized tanker 1
foreign-owned: 8 (China 1, Cyprus 2, Germany 1, Italy 3, UAE 1)
registered in other countries: 470 (Albania 1, Antigua and Barbuda 7, Bahamas 5, Belize 11, Cambodia 20, Comoros 8, Cyprus 1, Dominica 9, Georgia 23, Isle of Man 2, Italy 1, Kiribati 1, North Korea 1, Liberia 7, Malta 143, Marshall Islands 41, Netherlands Antilles 12, Panama 53, Russia 70, Sierra Leone 7, Slovakia 11, St Kitts and Nevis 13, St Vincent and The Grenadines 20, Tuvalu 1, UK 2, unknown 3) (2007)(Link:[1])

Airports and airlines

Total number of Airports in Turkey: 117 (2007)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 88
over 3,047 m: 16
2,438 to 3,047 m:″ 33
1,524 to 2,437 m: 19
914 to 1,523 m: 16
under 914 m: 4 (2010) (Link:[2])

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 11
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 6
under 914 m: 4 (2010) (Link:[3])


20 (2010)

See also


  1. ^ TCDD Statistics - PDF file
  2. ^ Uysal, Onur. "Traveling by Train in Turkey", Rail Turkey, 05 Mar 2014
  3. ^ Uysal, Onur. "5 Billion Needed Annually for High Speed Trains", Rail Turkey, 30 Jan 2014
  4. ^ Railway Gazette International - January 2008 p51
  5. ^
  6. ^ Uysal, Onur. "Public Transport by Rail in Turkish Cities", Rail Turkey, 18 September 2014
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
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