Focus on Turkey

With the Eurasia Rail 2015 exhibition and conference taking place in Istanbul this week (5 to 7 March), we take a closer look at the country that forms the natural bridge between Europe and Asia.

The Turkish Straits, comprising the Bosphorus and Dardanelles, link the Black Sea with the Aegean and have made Turkey a major hub for international shipping .

With a population of around 75 million in 2013, Turkey is currently the world's 17th largest economy and aims to be the 10th largest by 2023. The country's national rail network is currently undergoing a large-scale reorganisation. Between now and 2023, the network will be extended to 25,000 km of track — an increase of more than 13,000 km. Over this period, Turkey plans to invest $45 billion in its transportation infrastructure, with $25 billion earmarked for the rail sector alone.

The Marmaray project is a prime illustration of the country's ambitious plans for its rail system. The name is a combination of Marmara, for the Sea of Marmara which lies between the Bosphorus and Dardanelles, and the Turkish word for rail (ray). The key feature of the project is a rail tunnel under the Bosphorus, the deepest immersed tube tunnel in the world. It was constructed in sections, then floated to the site and sunk into place 60 metres below sea level. Construction was completed in April 2009 and rail service officially began on 29 October 2013.

Thales in Turkey

Thales has been active in Turkey for 25 years, providing transportation, defence, aviation and space customers with the most technologically advanced solutions available.

In the defence sector, Thales is a Tier 1 supplier to the Turkish Navy, with a substantial proportion of the Turkish fleet relying on naval combat systems from Thales.

In space, the Türksat 1B, 1C, 2A and 3A satellites were supplied by Thales Alenia Space.

In aviation, Thales has an excellent reputation as a major supplier of avionics and simulation solutions for Turkish Airlines.

Thales's transportation activities in Turkey

Thales is a long-standing supplier of rail solutions and the leading supplier of ETCS systems in Turkey.

In August 2012, Thales was proud to be part of the official opening of the new M4 line of the Istanbul Metro, which is equipped with the SelTrac® CBTC (Communications-Based Train Control) system. Thales is the world leader in CBTC technology, and the SelTrac® system is in service on 62 lines in 30 of the world's largest cities, transporting 3 billion passengers a year.

In April 2014, Thales signed a new contract with Turkish State Railways (TCDD) to upgrade signalling and telecommunication systems at Eskişehir central railway station. Thales will upgrade the various systems installed at the station by deploying its ETCS Level 1 signalling technology.

The Ankara–Istanbul high-speed link

The Ankara–Istanbul high-speed railway is a 533 km high-speed railway link between Ankara, the Turkish capital, and Istanbul, the country's largest city and economic powerhouse. The new rail link will eventually be part of the larger high-speed Eurasian network

Thales is playing a leading role in the development of Turkey's high-speed rail network and has installed signalling and telecommunication solutions on more than 400 km of the Ankara–Istanbul line.

Eurasia Rail

The fifth edition of Eurasia Rail is an ideal opportunity for Thales to showcase its technological expertise, advanced rail solutions and extensive experience in the Eurasia region. Come and visit us at Stand 9B9 – Hall 9.