Main opposition urges Ankara to waive payments for unused bridges during Eid al-Fitr

Main opposition CHP Vice Chair Ahmet Akın has urged the government to waive guarantee payments for the bridges the ruling AKP built under the build-operate-transfer model during the Eid al-Fitr holiday. Under this model, the Turkish Treasury guarantees to make up any shortfalls in income for the companies involved in the construction of the bridges.

Duvar English

Highways and bridges built by ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) under a build-operate-transfer model will not only sit idly during the Eid al-Fitr holiday, but will also cost the government thousands of dollars in guaranteed payments built into the contracts, main opposition Vice-Chair Ahmet Akın said on May 13. 

The Turkish Treasury allocates payments to the builders of the bridges from the state annual budget, if the crossings make far less from tolls than the government had guaranteed. 

Akın noted that Osmangazi Bridge will cost the government $69 by the hour, while the third bridge over the Bosphorus, Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge will cost an hourly $19,750.

"The public budget shouldn't be used for guarantee payments for these structures while everyone's sitting at home," said main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Vice-Chair Ahmet Akın.

The two bridges make up the largest group in the guarantee payments the state has to make, Akın noted, adding that Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge costs $474,000 daily, which is 3,923,000 Turkish Liras with current exchange rates.

Meanwhile, the Osmangazi Bridge costs $1,665,000 in guarantee payments daily, which is 13,780,000 liras with current exchange rates, the CHP official said. 

The government has left the public alone with "bizarre restrictions" and no aid during Eid al-Fitr, Akın added, urging the government to waive the guarantee payments during the holiday.