Dünya – The draft law ending the state monopoly on railway transportation in Turkey has been passed in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM).
Submitted to the parliament in early March, the law turns the Turkish State Railways (TCDD) into an infrastructure operator while a newly established corporate entity under the name of TCDD Tasimacilik A.S. takes over line operations. TCDD will continue to function as an infrastructure operator for lines under state control and will have its share of the state budget for the maintenance and renovation of the railroads.
The law also empowers the Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications to grant operating rights to private companies to build and operate rail lines to carry freight and passengers.
The Ministry will handle the appropriation of the immovables should the private companies choose to build their own railroads, on the condition that the interested party bears the appropriation cost. All the appropriated immovables along with any assets on them will be transferred to the Treasury after a maximum period of 49 years.
The Turkish government is looking to increase the use of railways and establish high-speed rail lines between the country’s major population centers. Significant investments in the country’s railway network will be realized over the next 10 years which will increase the length of the network to 26,000 kilometers, nearly double that of today’s 12,000 km. High-speed lines are expected to constitute 10,000 kilometers of the total.