Turkey infrastructure

Turkey FT special report Tayip ErdoganThe Turkish government’s decision last month to ban a metalworkers’ strike on the grounds that it endangered national security is part of an familiar pattern in the country. At least nine other strikes have been similarly stopped since the year 2000.

This time, though, the Turkish government outdid itself in explaining how the labour action could be considered an issue of national security. It said that the strike by Birleşik Metal-İş (United Metal-Work), a union representing just two per cent of Turkey’s million-plus metal workers, would jeopardise production of the Turkish police’s water cannon trucks – the very vehicles that are used to suppress labour unrest and other protests. Read more

Major infrastructure projects in Turkey are seldom less than controversial and the ground breaking ceremony for the third bridge over Istanbul’s Bosphorus straits held this week was guaranteed to spark protests even before the announcement that it was to be named after one of the Ottoman Empire’s less enlightened leaders, Sultan Yavuz Selim, known in the west as “Selim the Grim”. Read more

At first sight the figures are staggering. In the space of a single day last week Turkey signed an agreement on a $22bn new nuclear power plant and concluded a €22bn tender on building Istanbul one of the biggest airports on the world.

No wonder there were proclamations about record-breaking investments as soon as last Friday’s announcements were made. Read more

Turkey’s ambitious privatisation programme scored another significant success Friday with the successful sale of four more of the country’s regional power distribution companies for a total of $3.46bn.

The sale of the four was completed after more than six hours of open bidding between 16 companies. Read more

Turkey begins this week with two important developments for investors, officials and ordinary citizens. One is that the country now no longer faces the prospect of being suspended or blacklisted from an international financial body. The other is that a showpiece privatisation has been halted by order of prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (pictured). Read more

Plans to proceed with a gigantic infrastructure project; a decision to dispense with the services of an international ratings agency; forecasts of continued growth – there is no mistaking that Turkey has kicked off the new year in bullish fashion.

The country’s headlines are currently dominated by the aftermath of the execution-style murder in Paris of three female activists of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers party, or PKK. But the context even for this is not unremittingly grim. Read more

Two of Turkey’s biggest, most complicated and controversial infrastructure projects came closer to becoming reality on Friday. Ankara said it was in talks with a Canadian company over a nuclear power plant and also confirmed it had attracted four bidders to build a new bridge over the Bosphorus. Read more