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Turkey and South Korea Sign Deal for ‘Longest-Ever’ Suspension Bridge

March 17, 2017 (EIRNS)—Turkey and South Korea have signed an agreement to build the nearly 2-kilometer (1.2-mile) Çanakkale 1915 Bridge. A groundbreaking ceremony for the bridge between the European and Asian sides of Turkey will take place on March 18.

The bridge is expected to be built within five-and-half years at a cost of $2.80 billion, and will be the world's longest suspension bridge. It will be 32 meters longer than the currently-held record of the Akashi-Kaikyo bridge between Kobe and Awaji Island in Japan, according to Hürriyet Daily News. It will be built about 200 kilometers southwest of Istanbul, between Gallipoli on the European side and Lapseki on the Asian side across the Dardanelles.

The bridge will be built by a consortium including the South Korean companies Daelim and SK E&C, and Turkey's Limak and Yapi Merkezi OGG. The bridge is named after the World War I battle at Gallipoli when the Ottoman Army defeated the British.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Transport, Maritime and Communications Minister Ahmet Arslan said:

"The bridge will make a huge difference towards our community, it will make life easier and stimulate economic growth in the region. It will make travel time shorter by connecting [Turkey] with Europe, and help in exports and imports."

Also, speaking at the signing ceremony, South Korean Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport Kang Ho-in said his country's companies will complete the project by 2023, when Turkey will celebrate centennial of its founding.

"Korean companies will share their experiences in the economic development of South Korea with Turkey and also help in the transfer of technology,"

Kang said. "We can work together with other countries in the Middle East and Africa."

Pointing to the fact that there will be a technology transfer to Turkey in this project Yoon Tae Seob, senior executive vice president of Daelim Industrial said:

"I believe that after this Çanakkale 1915 Bridge [gets] completed, our Turkish partners will be able to build such projects by themselves. We want to collaborate in know-how transfer to support Turkish companies,"

he said.

Yoon urged international investors to evaluate opportunities in Turkey. "We are seeking to get chances to participate in Turkish infrastructure projects like in Izmir and the new channel in Istanbul," he said.