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İstanbullites to choose city’s future taxis

 İSTANBUL  İstanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş has announced a design competition in which the city’s residents will vote for the model of the city’s new taxicabs. “We have a design competition for İstanbul taxis. The work for the competition is under way. We will take the results of the contest into consideration in determining future plans [regarding the taxis],” Topbaş said. The mayor also noted that the municipality has taken a New York City taxi regulation as a model for designing the new taxis. “The basic features of New York taxis are that they are high quality, comfortable, safe and easy to use, especially by disabled people. We are taking important measures for taxis to be safer, so as to prevent robberies and murders,” he said.

Tender goes out this month for İstanbul’s third bridge

 İSTANBUL  The Supreme Planning Board (YPK) has approved the launch of a tender for a highway project in the Marmara region that includes construction of a third bridge in İstanbul. The tender will go out in accordance with the build-operate-transfer (BOT) model. The tender for the project, called the Northern Marmara Highway Project, which is valued at $6.5 billion, will be held this month. The third bridge will include a railway, and the General Directorate of Highways will be a stakeholder in the construction and operation of the project. In the meantime, changes have taken place in the regulation of BOT projects. With a recent article added to the “sack law,” the condition of the YPK’s approval of the contracts of the BOT tenders has been removed. Once the sack law, a term commonly used in the Turkish Parliament to describe a package of unrelated revisions to laws that are lumped together, is enacted, the Transportation Ministry will no longer be required to send the Northern Marmara Highway Project contract to the YPK.

Keçiören metro construction to begin this year

 ANKARA  The mayor of Ankara’s Keçiören district has announced that metro construction will begin this year in his municipality. While noting that Keçiören needs more mass transportation due to population density, Mayor Mustafa Ak said the most effective solution was a metro. “We have addressed this issue upon the order of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the initiatives of the Transportation Ministry and the Ankara Metropolitan Municipality,” he said. Ak also noted that the municipality was working on illumination on the main boulevards and streets while pavement construction is ongoing in these places.

US sailors make Marmaris businesses smile

 MARMARİS  A US Navy nuclear-powered aircraft carrier that has docked at a naval base near the southwestern Turkish town of Marmaris has revived the economy there. The crew of the USS Enterprise, the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, has spent about $3 million since they arrived on Tuesday, South Aegean Touristic Hotelkeepers and Operators Union (GETOB) President İlhan Açıkgöz told the Anatolia news agency yesterday. While noting that the visit of the aircraft carrier has revived winter tourism in the town, Açıkgöz said: “Marmaris needs such visits. Businesses in Marmaris benefit greatly from them.” The carrier left port on Friday after a four-day stay.

Motorbike crash kills 2 in Kilis

KİLİS  Two people were killed after the motorbikes they were riding collided in the southeastern province of Kilis on Friday. The motorbikes, ridden by Süleyman Özsöylemez (17) and Yunus Kaymaz (16), were heading in the same direction on a Kilis street and they collided as they were allegedly racing. Özsöylemez died at the scene, while Kaymaz passed away at Kilis State Hospital, where he was undergoing treatment. An investigation has been launched into the incident.