Turkish gov't insists on opening new suburban line despite grave danger

The AKP government insists on opening the Halkalı-Gebze suburban line of Marmaray in İstanbul before the elections despite the inadequacies and warnings coming from the experts
Tuesday, 12 March 2019 09:10

The opening of Halkalı-Gebze line, which was scheduled for March 10, quietly postponed without an official statement. The postponement occurred after the statement of the United Transportation Workers Union’s regarding the seven important deficiencies, which prove the line was not ready for opening.

However, the government announced that an opening ceremony will be held by the participation of the President Erdoğan on Tuesday, March 12. Moreover, the statement of Minister of Transportation Cahit Turhan shows that AKP is determined to put the line into service before March 31 without fixing the deficiencies.

Chairperson of the United Transportation Workers Union, Hasan Bektaş, underlined in his statement to soL news that opening the line with the mentioned deficiencies would create a grave danger and the mentioned deficiencies cannot be fixed within 5-10 days.

Branch Secretary Veysel Akbayer arguing that fixation of all the deficiencies in the line may take up to 3 months stated, “Serious deadly accidents occurred in railways in the past 15 years. We are warning the officials in order to prevent such incidents from recurring. We demand the line to initiate working after all deficiencies are detected and fixed.”

In the written statement made by the trade union on March 5, the union demanded the AKP government not to use the opening as a tool for elections.

The statement argued, “In case the line is opened to railway traffic by providing service adequacy certificate without completing the tests determined by the regulations and the training of the personnel and fixing technological deficiencies the certifying institution will be responsible as well as the Ministry of Transportation and Railways General Directorate. We demand the cancellation of the opening in order to preserve the life safety of passengers and transportation workers.”