Turkey as Middle Corridor in One Belt, One Road
The ‘‘Belt and Road Initiative’’ (BRI), or as it is also known as “One Belt, One Road” project, was first announced by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013. China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) are based on two main branches which are Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB) and Maritime Silk Road (MSR) to connect China with Africa and Europe via land and maritime networks along six with corridors.
The first movement of ‘’Belt and road Initiative’’ (BRI) done on November 6th 2019 to Ankara, Turkey welcomed the first freight train that departed from Xian, the capital city of Shaanxi Province in central China which passed below the Bosporus via Istanbul’s Marmaray tunnel for the first time. The 850-meter-long train is the realization of the Silk Railway ‘’Middle corridor’’ dream.
Turkey put forward a new Silk Road initiative named the “Middle Corridor.” That includes Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway line, which constitutes the main pillar of the Middle Corridor. The block container train services are set to arrive from Xi’an, China, entering Turkey via cities Kars, Erzurum, Erzincan, Sivas, Kayseri, Kırıkkale, Ankara, Eskişehir, Kocaeli, Istanbul (Marmaray) and Kapıkule (Edirne) would enter Europe.
The main aim of ‘’Belt and Road Initiative’’ (BRI) is improving logistical infrastructure and therefore about improving trade scope connect Asia, Africa and Europe via roads and sea lanes. The railway will reduce freight transportation time between China and, Turkey from one month to 12 days, while the whole route between china and Western Europe will take 18 days with the integration of the Marmaray tunnel, Istanbul.
‘‘Belt and Road Initiative’’ (BRI) will become a game-changer for future in terms of the large picture of the economy. Its grand strategy aimed at improving Chinese influence around the world. China is bringing investments where there is a significant lack of investment in infrastructure while Turkey is set to gain foremost from the project because of its geographical position as located in the middle corridor.