FILYOS PROJECT AND IMPORTANCE OF RAILWAY FREIGHT TRANSPORTATION – Dr. Ilhami Pektas

Planned to be put into service in the Ottoman period by Sultan Abdulhamit II, Filyos Project was put on the agenda during the Government of Turgut Ozal between 1983-1989. The project includes establishing Filyos Port, connecting it with Mersin and İskenderun ports through rails and opening the ports to the industrial regions of Anatolia. The project was significant for Turkey’s development, however this project could not be achieved due to some political obstacles.

After years, Filyos project was declared as the mixed industrial zone with the decision of the Council of Ministers in 2012, and the construction of the project started in 2016. When completed, the project will become the 3rd largest port of Turkey with the 25 million tons of capacity. The project has already been completed about 80 %. As the Northern, Southern, Eastern and South East regions are connected with railways, all industrial cities in these regions including Ankara, Kayseri, Konya, Cankiri, Corum, Yozgat, Aksaray, Nigde, Kirsehir, Sivas and others will be connected with the northern and southern ports. Thus, all industrial provinces will open the ports and benefit with the construction of Filyos Port which is the most qualified port of Black Sea.

By benefiting from Turkey’s geographical advantages, increasing railway and sea ​​freight transportation shares, establishing a fast, flexible, safe, trustworthy and integrated transportation system and connecting the Whole Anatolia industrial regions with the ports, reducing logistics costs, easing the trade, increasing the competition power of our country in the world; it is significant for our economy to put the railway freight transport among Filyos-Mersin-Iskenderun ports into operation as soon as possible.

When Filyos Port and Industry Zone, which is planned as 25 million tons / year capacity, and Mersin and İskenderun ports, which have an average annual capacity of 18 million tons, will be connected by railway line, will both ensure the regional development and a significant advantage in the international transport corridors of our country.

All Western Black Sea and Central Anatolia, including Zonguldak, Bartin and Karabuk, will become export centers. The railway connection with the ports of Filyos, Mersin and İskenderun will become a significant transfer center for transit between Russia, the Balkans, the Middle East and Asian countries, as well as for exports.

When the railway modernization works are rapidly completed on the Kars-Erzurum-Erzincan-Sivas-Malatya-Gaziantep rail line and Konya-Karaman-Nigde-Mersin-Adana-Osmaniye-Gaziantep rail line existing in the 11th Development Plan, the railway transportation will gain importance as the production sectors in the region connecting with Filyos, Adana, Mersin and Iskenderun ports.

When the construction of Eskisehir-Kutahya-Afyonkarahisar-Isparta-Burdur railway is accelerated and the railway connection is ensured to the Antalya Port, when the Gaziantep-Sanliurfa-Mardin-Harbur railway project is completed and when the Adapazari-Karasu-Eregli-Bartin Railway Project will be connected with Filyos and Marmara Region, then the vitality in our economy will increase, rapidly.

In order to get more shares from railway freight transport in all these lines, it is necessary to eliminate the difficulties in main lines as soon as possible, convert the single-line railways to double-track depending on the traffic density, complete the signaling and electrification investments, and increase the number of the junction lines of the efficient logistics centers and Organized Industrial Zones on the route.

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