The long-discussed İzmir province bus terminal metro line project, promised by the government for a decade with a budget of 16.13 billion Turkish liras ($535M), has once again received a symbolic allocation of 3,000 liras ($100) for the year 2024.
Aegean İzmir province has been the stronghold of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) which has not been won by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) during its rule lasting two decades.
The total project cost of the 4.5-kilometre metro line, which was determined as 8.13 billion liras last year, has almost doubled this year.
A budget of 3,000 liras has been included in the investment program for the project since 2014. Thus, it has been revealed that no steps will be taken in the 11th year for the construction of the line, where no work has been carried out for 10 years.
İzmir Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Tunç Soyer stated that they have carried out the construction of rail system projects with an investment cost exceeding 40 billion liras only in the last five years and said, "The government had only one responsibility, to build the bus terminal metro," according to the reporting of the daily Cumhuriyet.
Soyer said that if the government could not do it, it should leave the project to them and added, "Let the Presidency not cast a shadow, we do not ask for any other favor."
İzmir Metropolitan Municipality has allocated an investment budget of 285 million euros for the Narlıdere metro line, which is nearing completion, and 183 million Euros for the Çiğli Tramway.
The Buca Metro, which is under construction, is expected to be completed for 765 million euros, which is the biggest project undertook by a Turkish municipality. Although the municipality has invested a total of 1.23 billion euros (40.7 billion liras) in rail system investments in the last five years, the central government allocated only 3,000 liras to Izmir for the only metro line it undertook.
Soyer in December 2023 stated that although the state collected 890 billion liras in taxes from İzmir in five years, the Aegean province received an investment of merely 26 billion liras from the central government because of the province being a CHP stronghold.
Turkish government invests 1.7 trillion liras to public sector
The 2024 Investment Program signed by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Jan. 16 was published in the Official Gazette.
According to the program prepared in line with the targets envisaged in the 12th Development Plan, the public sector will invest 1.7 trillion liras ($56.5B) in 2024. The total amount of 12,041 projects included in the program is approximately 7.3 trillion liras.
The government emphasized that it prioritized the projects that were essential to be started due to the earthquake risk or that had a strong social and economic impact.
Of these investments, 71.5 percent were planned to be carried out by the institutions within the scope of the central government budget, 27 percent by state-owned enterprises (KİT) and institutions within the scope of privatization, and 1.5 percent by revolving fund institutions and social security institutions.
A total of 510 billion lira worth of projects were included for earthquake measures. Approximately 28 percent of these projects were allocated to the education sector, 23 percent to the health sector, and 13 percent to the transport-communication sector.
The transport-communication sector received the highest share of the investment allocation, totaling 31.7 percent, amounting to 318.9 billion lira. The allocation for the sector increased by 162 percent.
Also, 150.8 billion TL was allocated for education sector investments with an increase of 147 percent.
The public will invest 106 billion liras in the mining sector, 101 billion liras in the agriculture sector, 94.5 billion liras in the health sector, 75.6 billion liras in the energy sector, 15.6 billion liras in the manufacturing sector and 2 billion liras in the tourism sector.