Turkey’s giant Istanbul airport crowns 95th Republic Day

Turkey celebrated the 95th anniversary of the Republic by inaugurating one of the world’s largest and most modern airports that will become a major air travel hub when it reaches full capacity over the next few years.

The new airport features state-of-the-art technologies that will enhance air safety and boost services to the millions of passengers who use Istanbul as a transit route flying Turkish Airlines.

The airport will reach full capacity by the year 2023, the 100th anniversary of the Turkish Republic founded by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

On Monday, Turkey celebrated its national day with state functions in Ankara, before celebrations shifted to Istanbul where the new airport was inaugurated by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

The massive, modern airport symbolizes the giant strides Turkey has made in the past 95 years and how it is marching to fulfill Atatürk’s legacy of “surpassing the contemporary level of civilizations.”

Today, despite its economic problems, Turkey is the 17th largest economy in the world and is striving to become one of the 10 largest by the year 2023. Though it has suffered all kinds of assaults, aimed at stalling its economic progress, Turkey has defied all odds to march on.

On Saturday, Turkey hosted a summit on Syria attended by the leaders of Russia, Germany and France. President Erdoğan discussed the future of Syria with his guests.

Once Turkey was regarded the “sick man of Europe,” but today its takes initiatives on regional and global issues and makes an impact. Turkey talks and the world listens.

A few years ago, some people were writing off Turkey as a player in the Syrian game yet today Ankara has shown its friends and foes alike that it has a share in shaping regional policies and will not hesitate to flex its muscles when its vital interests are threatened. The world has seen what Turkey can do in critical times when it wiped out Daesh from Syria’s Jarablus and al-Bab and pushed out the PKK terrorists from Afrin.

Turkey has also shown its qualities as a peacemaker as it managed the Idlib crisis in Syria with great finesse and thwarted a very explosive situation to the satisfaction of the international community.

By helping the oppressed and the needy of the world, Turkey has set an example to what leading countries can do for the suffering masses and thus has set an example – an alternative to imperialism and modern colonialism. Thus Turkey has lived up to Atatürk’s legacy that was the source of inspiration to freedom movements around the world in the 20th century.

Turkey’s adversaries have tried to stall Ankara’s progress with economic assaults, political intrigue and international conspiracies – including engineering a bloody coup attempt in 2016, which failed after a great resistance by the Turkish people, who further bolstered their government.

Now Turkey has changed its system of government to streamline its official activities and speed up the functioning of the state with a presidential system that will lead us to 2023 and help fulfill our goals. The road ahead is tough, but not impossible to overcome.

*The article was published by Ilnur Cevik on DailySabah, a Turkish daily, on Oct. 29, 2018