Airports under Turkey’s build-operate-transfer scheme costs government $215.4M 

The Turkish government has so far spent 215.4 million dollars to meet the passenger quotas outlined in the build-operate-transfer agreements for the ten airports running under the model, revealed the 2023 Activity Report of the State Airports Authority. 

Duvar English

The Turkish government paid 6.9 billion Turkish liras (215.4 million dollars) to private companies for the ten airports under the build-operate-transfer (BOT) model to cover the passenger quotas outlined in the agreements, revealed the 2023 Activity Report of the State Airports Authority (DHMİ). 

According to the report, the DHMİ has paid the private sector 215.4 million dollars due to “below-guarantee” passenger numbers and received 587.7 million dollars from the private sector from the fulfilled passenger quotas as of the end of 2023, reported the online news outlet Diken

The Transportation and Infrastructure Ministry’s 2023 Activity Report similarly showed payments for the Eurasia Tunnel connecting the two sides of Istanbul. 

Accordingly, the ministry paid 2.89 billion liras (89.9 million dollars) in 2023 to cover the guaranteed number of vehicles to pass through the tunnel and “price adjustments.”

Turkish Court of Accounts audits have revealed that the DHMİ spent over 330 million Turkish liras (10.7 million dollars) in 2022 just to meet the user guarantees it had made to airport operator companies for the capital Ankara’s Esenboğa and the central Anatolian Zafer airports.

The Turkish government cooperates with private companies in the BOT model to construct public infrastructure such as airports, highways, and bridges. The agreements have guarantees to make up for any shortfalls in income for the companies involved in constructing the structures.

The model is often criticized for incurring financial losses. The Osmangazi and Yavuz Sultan Selim bridges built under the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) similarly fell short of meeting the vehicle guarantees.