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: 2022-07-26


Turkey’s transportation and logistics sector is among Turkey’s fastest growing industries. In addition to being a major transit hub, Turkey is also a key freight destination. Given Turkey’s increasing population – now over 84 million – and inward migration to larger cities from rural areas, traffic has become a critical problem, compelling local municipalities to invest heavily in Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) and Smart Mobility. 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 though Turkey is making a concerted effort to comply with all EU rules and regulations, as a significant portion of its foreign trade is with Europe.

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

The transportation sector’s influence in Turkey 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 freight 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 transportation projects and we anticipate BOT will be used to fund the following major transportation projects:

  • The $3.5 billion Grand Istanbul Tunnel 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 2022. The project is expected to be completed five years after construction begins.

Leading Sub-Sectors


Turkey currently has 13,022 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:

  • Increase the railroad network to 28,590 km by 2053.
  • Increase the high-speed rail connection from eight to 52 cities.
  • Increase passenger railroad transportation share from %1 to 6% and cargo railroad transportation share from %4 to 22% by 2053.
  • Liberalization of the rail system with private transportation companies able to transport cargo in private wagons.
  • Develop total rail length of 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

The GoT has also prioritized improvements to roads and highways infrastructure. The GoT is seeking to increase the existing 28,647 km of divided roads to 38,000 km, and current 3,633 km of highway network to 8,325 km by 2053, as well as develop the infrastructure for electric vehicles.

Marine Transportation

Marine transportation remains crucial given the volume of Turkey’s ports. The GoT has prioritized improvements to the marine sector by:

  • Increasing existing 219 ports to 255 and constructing dry ports to Tekirdag, Mersin, Iskenderun, and Kocaeli by 2053.
  • Increasing the number of logistics centers from 13 to 26 by 2053.
  • Increasing combined/multimodal/intermodal types of transportation.
  • Increasing the number of marinas.
  • Emphasizing sustainability and efficiency through projects like “Green Port.”

For further information on the transportation technology and equipment sector, contact:

Naz Demirdoven

Commercial Specialist

Automotive & Smart Mobility, Marine, Rail and Road Specialist
U.S. Commercial Service