The project of the M13 Söğütlüçeşme-Yenidoğan Metro Line is from Metro Istanbul
Metro Istanbul won the tender opened by Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IMM) for the extension and redesign of the Yenidoğan-Cumhuriyet-Emek Metro Line, which has been suspended since the end of 2017, to Söğütlüçeşme. A signing ceremony was held for the "Final Project Based on Implementation" of the M13 Söğütlüçeşme-Yenidoğan Metro Line, which is of great importance for the Anatolian Side.
Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IMM) has redesigned the Yenidoğan-Cumhuriyet-Emek Metro Line, which was originally planned as an extension of the M5 Üsküdar-Çekmeköy Metro Line to Çekmeköy-Sancaktepe-Sultanbeyli but was halted since the end of 2017. The line has been redesigned as an extension to Söğütlüçeşme, forming a complete project. A protocol signing ceremony was held for the "Final Project for Implementation" of the M13 Söğütlüçeşme-Yenidoğan Metro Line, which holds great importance for the Anatolian side of Istanbul.
"We will continue to proceed with a method that prioritizes intellect, knowledge, and technology, without deceiving or misleading our citizens."
During the signing ceremony, Ekrem İmamoğlu, the Mayor of Istanbul, stated in his speech, "While serving Istanbul, we will continue to proceed with a method that prioritizes intellect, knowledge, and technology, without deceiving or misleading our citizens. I confidently declare that our entire team, every single member of our staff, and each manager occupy their positions based on merit and expertise. We have great trust in the human resources of our country. Here, among you, our esteemed guests, I see the valuable members of Metro Istanbul, Rail Systems, and the Deputy Secretary-General of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, as well as many precious members of the managerial staff and my colleagues. I also sense their enthusiasm. Regarding the process, I can see the sparkle in their eyes as they eagerly work together, both men and women, to create something new."
"Do not be deceived, and do not allow deceivers."
Imamoğlu, recalling the accusations they faced during their work on the redesigned line, stated the following:
"In this regard, I felt ashamed to see the statements of people who try to hurt and defame us with false accusations, unfortunately lacking good intentions, exhibiting such behaviors, from mayors to ministers, and even higher authorities, speaking lies as if they were eating snacks. Moreover, a minister spoke in such a way that, despite the fact that he was the one who signed the halt of this project, who made mistakes in the initial stages, who even sent a letter to the Presidential Investment Planning saying, 'Will you allow this?' and received the response from the President, 'No, you cannot do it. You designed it wrong. There can't be a metro here.' As if all of these never happened, they used the phrase 'he filled a metro' against me... They used it in such a way that people believed it, and even the President himself used the same phrase. They brought it to that level."
"I attended the signing ceremony with the intention of revealing the deceptive process that was tarnishing our reputation."
Imamoğlu continued his speech by saying, "By attending this signing ceremony, I aimed to expose the deceptive process that was tarnishing our reputation and to present another example of how to initiate and carry out a project, a healthy example. I specifically attended this ceremony to achieve that."
"This line, in its new form as M13, the Söğütlüçeşme-Yenidoğan Metro Line, will now be a very important line for Istanbul. However, the previous design, with a length of 6.9 kilometers and 2 stations, which I referred to as Yenidoğan-Emek earlier, was deemed a design flaw. Let me describe it like this: You can transport people here with a minibus or a bus, but you cannot do it with a metro. Metro is a significant undertaking. Each kilometer underground for a metro, now costs approximately 45 million Euros... Do you know what that means? One kilometer is 1 billion Turkish liras. And whose pockets is that coming out of? It's coming out of the pockets of our people. In old currency, it's 1 quadrillion lira. We will do it, but we will do it right. It was a mistake made in the past, perhaps a political decision. Even permission wasn't obtained. Let me tell you something worse. The Çekmeköy-Sancaktepe-Sultanbeyli line. It's a correct line. But this branch is wrong, the Yenidoğan-Emek branch. What am I trying to tell you? You award the contract for that line to a company. You hand it over to them. For nearly 2.5 years, until we take over the task, examine the process, and find the funding, you don't even put a single nail in the ground."
"The point is that the work was designed incorrectly"
Imamoğlu emphasized that the previous state of the mentioned line was initiated in a manner that contradicted new technological developments. He stated, "Here, we have highly valuable technical engineers. There are many people who understand their language. But there are also citizens who understand my language. I am one of you, after all. You open those shafts and start construction. These are the shafts that should be in operation for the project. And the lifespan of these shafts is not permanent; it is temporary. After a certain period, they become a threat to the environment. Threat of collapse and so on. Therefore, when we took office and saw this threat and when we also applied for the investment permit that had not been obtained from the presidency before, but received a rejection response, we said, 'Let's quickly fill this up.' We filled it and closed it. But tomorrow, you can come and open it again with an excavator, so to speak. That's not the issue. The issue is that the project was wrongly designed. My colleague just mentioned 'platform.' What does platform mean? It means the place where passengers enter and exit. It means the station. Did we fill those areas? No, we didn't. Because those areas are permanent. The platforms should also be in permanent locations. We didn't cancel this process. We carried out the reinforced concrete works there so that the surrounding threats would cease. But when the construction starts, those areas should be ready. I went and saw it. We constructed the places where the tunnel would enter and exit, completing the reinforced concrete works there, so that when a healthy process is restored and the project is completed and starts functioning, those areas will be ready and integrated into the system."
"We got it at the level of 2-3 percent, we reached 80 percent in 3.5 years"
Imamoğlu shared that they inherited the Çekmeköy-Sancaktepe-Sultanbeyli line at a completion level of 2-3%, and over a period of 3.5 years, they have reached a completion level of around 80%. He continued as follows:
"They wasted 2.5 years. If they hadn't wasted those 2.5 years, you would be enjoying using those metros today. And is it only here? It's the same in Göztepe-Ataşehir-Ümraniye, Bostancı-Dudullu line; it's the same in all of them. Taking all of these projects that were halted and ending the real sense of turmoil they caused in Istanbul, with their own description, I am experiencing the honor, pride, and peace of mind of presenting to this country, to this city, a process where every penny of the Istanbul residents' money is being used correctly. You're supposed to award the contract at the beginning of 2017, deliver it to the contractor in March or April 2017; not even a single nail is hammered. 2.5 years, not a single 'tick'. We come; we identify the shortcomings, find billions of liras in financing. Where we couldn't find it, with all our efforts, even during the pandemic, despite the Covid era, despite all the pressure, even though we couldn't get a single penny from the state's banks, we will still do these with the money belonging to this country. Today, it's at around 80%, and with the permission of Allah, we will open a section between Çekmeköy and Sancaktepe before the elections, and hopefully by the end of 2024, the beginning of 2025, we will open the entire line up to Sultanbeyli. We will have brought the metro to this region. Therefore, whoever is spreading that tainted propaganda here, whoever acts against the national interest... It is shameful, it is disgraceful, it is sinful."
"We will conduct a fair tender."
Mayor İmamoğlu, sharing the information that they will extend the Söğütlüçeşme-Yenidoğan Metro Line by 18 kilometers, reaching a total of 25 kilometers in its newly designed form, stated in his speech: "It will have 18 stations and will serve a total of 2.5 million people. It will connect the residents of districts such as Kadıköy, Ataşehir, Ümraniye, Sancaktepe, and Çekmeköy. It will intersect with other lines, such as Kadıköy-Sabiha Gökçen Airport. The Marmaray line will also be included. My friends, thus we will complete a model, as if beautifully knitting the underground of Istanbul with iron networks, fully integrating it with the Istanbul population, and perhaps putting the last signature to a system, a model that makes the Anatolian side highly integrated, as our great leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk said. I am very happy. My friends who are excited are here. Some of them are there. Therefore, with this excitement, they conducted the tender process correctly. The tender was awarded to our esteemed institution, Metro Istanbul, which is the apple of our eye. Now they will develop the project together. While the project is being completed, we will find the financing on one hand. Then we will conduct a fair tender. In that fair tender, we will determine the company that will do the right job, the highest quality job, and the most suitable price. Then we will work hand in hand with that company. After that, we will complete it. We will put it into service for our people. Ekrem İmamoğlu is mortal, Ceyhun is mortal, Pelin Hanım is mortal, Mr. Özgür is mortal too... But these services are permanent. May Allah increase the number of our lasting services," he concluded.
”When evaluated with all operational factors, we will prevent a waste of 15 percent."
Ceyhun Avşar, the Head of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Rail Systems Department, also reminded that the project was designed to serve as a 4-carriage line between Yenidoğan and Emek. He stated, "We extended this line and increased the number of journeys. However, we also observed that the signaling systems of the line can be revised to operate as a 3-carriage set. What did this provide us? More feasible areas at all stations, lower costs, lower costs in tunnels, and, most importantly, we revised this line in a way that would create less operational costs every day during operation, rather than just during construction. As a result, we will prevent a waste of 18 percent at the station level and 15 percent when evaluated with all operational factors. We will accomplish this by re-projecting the job."
"Metro Istanbul is not just any project company; it has 35 years of operation and maintenance experience."
Özgür Soy, the General Manager of Metro Istanbul, emphasized that they were sitting at the table not as a regular metro operator but with a different identity. He stated, "By submitting the best proposal in the tender for the Söğütlüçeşme-Yenidoğan Metro Line, conducted by Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, we have become the project author as of today. Therefore, we are extremely proud. Metro Istanbul is not just any project company. Metro Istanbul has 35 years of operation and maintenance experience. This place is not only about construction and design; it is a location that will be operated for 50 years. By making the right decisions and choices during the design phase of this line, we will contribute to designing a cost-effective, efficient, and passenger-friendly line in the long run. We are happy and proud for being part of it. We have been involved in numerous projects until now. Gradually, like major operators around the world, we have started exporting projects to Turkey and abroad in terms of project consultancy and operation and maintenance, using our experience here. This project is very valuable and will serve Istanbul greatly. We are delighted and proud to be involved in this project."
The protocol was signed in the presence of İmamoğlu
After the speeches, IMM Deputy Secretary General Pelin Alpkökin, IMM Rail Systems Department Head Ceyhun Avşar, and Metro Istanbul General Manager Özgür Soy signed the "Implementation Basis Final Project" protocol of the Söğütlüçeşme-Yenidoğan Metro Line on a tablet in the presence of İmamoğlu.
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