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Turkey’s Erdogan opens world’s biggest airport in Istanbul

Turkey’s Erdogan opens world’s biggest airport in Istanbul

Turkey opens world’s biggest Airport with a grand ceremony on Republic Day

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan opened a new $11.7 billion airport outside Istanbul that will be one of the world’s largest airport when it will be fully operational in January.

The new airport, located some 20 miles outside Istanbul on the coast of the Black Sea, will cover 76.5 million square meters (29.5 miles) upon completion — a footprint larger than Manhattan. Its first three runways should be able to serve 100 million passengers annually in 2020, with a target of accommodating as many as 200 million on six runways by 2029.

“I hope that Istanbul Airport will benefit our region and the world,” Erdogan said at the lavish opening ceremony attended by numerous world leaders including Pakistan’s President Dr Arif Alvi, Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani of Qatar and Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. The inauguration is largely symbolic as the airport will not be fully open until the end of the year.

The airport’s size corresponds to the grand ambitions of Mr Erdogan, who has vowed to make Turkey, a nation of 81 million perched between Europe and Asia, a world power. “This is not just an airport. This is a monument to victory,” said a sign inside the facility at the opening ceremony.

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