A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Marmaray Rail Tunnel Under Bosphorus Opens on 90th Turkish Republic Day

Gül and Erdoğan take a Ride
Today is Republic Day in Turkey, marking the 90th Anniversary  of the Proclamation of the Turkish Republic on October 29, 1923, and Prime Minister Erdoğan marked it with the opening of another of his ambitious public works projects, the first-ever rail tunnel linking Europe and Asia under the Bosphorus. The Marmaray (for Marmara Rail) will initially link commuter rail traffic on the two sides but will eventually carry long-distance passenger and freight rail as well. Erdoğan and President Abdullah Gül were accompanied by the Japanese and Romanian Prime Ministers (Japanese firms built the tunnel),

The idea of a rail tunnel under the sea linking the continents was first proposed by Sultan Abdul Hamid II in 1891 but never built.

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