Turkey - Country Commercial Guide
Transportation Technology and Equipment

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2021-12-07


Turkey’s transportation and logistics sector is one of its fastest growing industries. In the past 18 years, the GoT has invested over $108 billion in transportation and infrastructure  . Developments in Turkey’s transportation industry are creating new opportunities for U.S. exporters of transportation technologies. In addition to being a major transit hub, Turkey is also a key freight destination. Given Turkey’s increasing population – now over 83 million – and inward migration to larger cities from rural areas, traffic has become a critical problem, compelling local municipalities to invest heavily in ITS. This sector is dependent on critical foreign technologies such as ITS, thus providing opportunities for U.S. firms.

Turkey’s customs union with the EU is pushing the transportation industry to consider new investments in Turkey. Turkey’s current transportation network is below EU-27 standards. Turkey has an ambitious goal to comply with all EU rules and regulations, as most of its foreign trade is with Europe.

U.S. firms have a comparative advantage in high-tech products; therefore, they are encouraged to form supplier agreements for specialized technologies used in the further development of Turkey’s transportation and logistics sector.

The transportation sector’s influence is expected to increase over time, as many highway, railway, and other transportation-related projects are either underway or expected to break ground to accommodate the needs of an increasingly industrialized country. “Combined transportation” may assume a larger share in the transportation industry, and due to an increase in public-private partnerships, marine and railway freightage may play a larger role in cargo transport. Turkey has committed to new investments in this sector to keep up with anticipated future demand.

The GoT has typically used the BOT method of funding for earlier and ongoing transportation projects, and it seems that with limited foreign funding, BOT will be used to fund the following major transportation projects:

  • Construction of the Canakkale 1915 Bridge is expected to be completed by 2023 on a BOT basis with a budget of $2.8 billion and will be the longest bridge in the world at 4608m.
  • The tender for The Grand Istanbul Tunnel is expected to be announced in 2022. The $3.5 billion project will be 110m (361 ft) below sea level, 6.5 km (3.7 miles) long, and will be comprised of three floors, two roads, and one metro line. The project is expected to be completed in 2027.
  • Canal Istanbul is a project designed to connect the Marmara Sea with the Black Sea. According to the GoT, the project will function as an alternative route to the Bosphorus Strait to decrease traffic and freight congestion. Canal Istanbul is expected to be 45km (nearly 28 miles) long, 145-150m (492 ft) wide on the surface, 125m (410 ft) wide on the floor, and 25m (82 ft) deep to allow large ships access to the sea. It is currently valued at $15 billion. Several project tenders have reportedly been awarded and more are expected to be announced in 2021. The project is expected to be completed five years after construction begins.

Leading Sub-Sectors


Turkey currently has 12,803 km of rail with 1,213 km of high-speed lines and 11,590 km of conventional rail. More than 6,382 km of rail lines are signalized, and 5,753 km are electrified. The GoT has prioritized improvements to the rail sector as follows:

  • Liberalization of the rail system with private transportation companies able to transport cargo in private wagons. Three private companies have begun operations in the rail system, with more expected.
  • Increased passenger railroad transportation to 10% and cargo railroad transportation to 15%.
  • Total rail length expected to reach 18,000 km by 2023, with new investments in high-speed trains and conventional lines. Turkey has ongoing rail projects involving 4,257 km of line, consisting of 2,050 km of high-speed rail, 1,786 km of speed rail, and 429 km of conventional lines. In addition, there are ongoing rail projects to signalize 2,323 km and electrify 987 km of lines. New metro lines/light rail systems/trams will be constructed in larger cities.

Roads & Highways

  • Over 27,000 km of existing divided roads with plans to increase to 29,514 km by 2023
  • 59km of highway construction, 361 km of divided roads, and 42 km of bridge be completed by 2021

Marine Transportation

  • Currently, 90% of Turkey’s international trade (by volume) travels by sea. Some of the port projects prioritized by the GoT are as follows:
      • West on Aegean Sea – Izmir/Candarli Port (expected to be tendered in 2021)
      • North on Black Sea – Zonguldak/Filyos Port (expected to be tendered in 2021)
      • East Mediterranean cargo port project
  • Container handling capacity expected to reach 32 million TEU
  • Liquid cargo expected to reach a capacity of 350 million tons, and dry cargo expected to reach 500 million tons
  • Turkey is expected to rank among the top countries that generate revenue from maritime transportation
  • Increased combined/multimodal/intermodal types of transportation
  • Increase the number of marinas through investments
  • Increased emphasis on sustainability and efficiency through projects like “Green Port”


Below are several examples of in demand systems, products, and equipment:

  • Traffic engineering, management, measurement, control, and signal systems
  • Electronic detection, and camera and security systems
  • Variable message, communication, and digital information systems
  • Lighting systems
  • Tunnel SCADA, vehicle tracking and fleet management, data management
  • Marine technology: port superstructure, vessel tracking systems, oil spill detection and contingency preparedness, underwater mapping, terminal operating systems

For further information on this section or for more on potential opportunities, contact:

Naz Demirdoven

Commercial Specialist
U.S. Commercial Service Turkey