Erdoğan: “All citizens equally worthy of service and respect”

Erdoğan said that during the more than two decades his party has been in power, there has been no discrimination based on political leanings, asserting, “In our eyes, all 85 million citizens are equally worthy of service and respect, regardless of their voting preferences.”

The president extended his remarks to Istanbul, attributing the city’s current state to the government’s proactive approach.

“If Istanbul has not gotten much worse than it is today, it is because we have taken matters into our own hands,” he stated in a speech at the inauguration ceremony of a new stage of the subway to Istanbul Airport on Jan. 29.

“We see the sincere prayer of our citizens ‘May God be pleased with him’ above political and worldly calculations.”

Erdoğan underscored that the government remains focused on achieving the goals outlined in the Century of Türkiye vision.

With the inauguration of the new subway stage, the total length of Istanbul’s rail network will reach 338.5 kilometers, according to Erdoğan.

He also emphasized the government’s commitment to incorporating domestic engineering and design into rail system projects, citing the partnership with Aselsan and the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Türkiye (TÜBİTAK) in the development of the signaling system.

“We will work with determination until we reach the goal of a fully independent Türkiye in every field,” Erdoğan declared, underlining the importance of increasing the share of domestic national projects in every implemented initiative.

The president outlined ambitious goals for easing transportation woes in Istanbul, citing statistics that show citizens spend an average of 288 hours a year in traffic. Erdoğan pledged to reduce average travel times from 64 to 39 minutes and expand the total length of the rail system to 650 kilometers by 2029.

“To make traffic less of an issue in Istanbul, this distribution needs to be more balanced,” Erdoğan said. He emphasized the necessity of holistic transportation development, promising to double maritime transportation as part of the government’s efforts to provide sustainable solutions to the city’s traffic congestion.