Turkey to privatise $5bn of highways, bridges

The Turkish government has initiated the privatisation of four highways and two bridges across the country. The government hopes to complete the privatisation programme by the end of 2012.

Turkey has started the privatisation process for four of its highways and two bridges, totalling 2,000 kilometres, the authorities announced recently. 

Turkey’s Supreme Council of Privatisation has decided to privatise the Edirne-Istanbul-Ankara, Pozanti-Tarsus-Mersin, Tarsus-Adana-Gaziantep and Toprakkale-Iskenderun highways as well as the Bophorous and Fatih Sultan Mehmet bridges, in Istanbul.

The government hopes to complete the privatisation programme in 2012 with a local banker suggesting the whole package may be worth up to $5 billion. The operating rights for the bridges and roads as well as related maintenance will be tendered to the private sector for 25 years.

An official statement also suggests that certain connecting highways and bridges – including the Gaziantep-Sanliurfa, Izmir-Çesme, Izmir-Aydin highways and the connecting roads leading to the Fatih Sultan Mehmet bridges – could also be included as part of the privatisation programme.

Turkey started talking about privatising its roads and bridges in early 2008, but the programme had to be on hold as the global financial crisis affected market conditions last year.