By Vugar Khalilov
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that Turkey will open its first nuclear power plant by May 2023, Yeni Shafak newspaper has reported.
Erdogan made the remarks at an opening ceremony in Turkey’s Mersin city, following the inspections made at the Akkuyu nuclear power plant.
He described the Akkuyu nuclear power plant as one of the symbols of Turkey’s 2023 goals. Erdogan stressed that the project will significantly contribute to the country’s electricity production and reduce carbon emissions to the atmosphere.
“Nuclear power plants are increasing in importance in the period when the discussions on climate change are increasing. Our aim is to take the steps to get hold of second and third nuclear power plants. Mersin has proven to be at the forefront of building a great and powerful Turkey. I would like to congratulate those who contributed to the acquisition and construction of this strategic investment in our country,” Erdogan said.
Highlighting the importance of the Mersin port and free zone, Erdogan underlined that the Turkish companies operating there make considerably contributed to the economy, employing 10,000 people and ensuring the 2.2-billion-dollar trade turnover in January-August.
Erdogan said that the government had provided 364 million TL ($41 million) of credit and insurance for exporters and SMEs over the last 17 months and the state had supported nearly 26,000 tradesmen, producers and farmers, who suffered from the pandemic, fire and flood disasters in the city.
Commenting on the refugee crisis, the president said that Turkey had taken all necessary measures to overcome the problem.
“We have embraced millions of victims who took refuge in our country. Mersin is one of our provinces that bears the burden of this great example of brotherhood and humanity,” Erdogan stressed.
He added that Turkey will not be able to bear this heavy responsibility on its own and it is time for other countries, especially for Europe to share the burden and to take realistic steps.
Speaking about the government’s achievements in the past 19 years, Erdogan stated that 2023 will be a turning point for Turkey and Mersin will be one of the key provinces at this stage.
The president noted that like all 81 provinces, Mersin had also received unprecedented services over the past 19 years. The government invested 38 billion liras ($4.37 billion) in education, establishing Tarsus University with 5,617 classrooms, dormitories with a capacity of 4,726 for higher education students, and 61 sports facilities.
“We supported social aid with a total of 7 billion liras ($800 million). We built 47 health facilities, 15 of which were hospitals. We brought Mersin together with our 1300-bed city hospital,” Erdogan reminded.
Talking about the upcoming projects, he stated that the construction of 600-bed Tarsus State Hospital is underway and tenders for six health facilities, including the Mezitli State Hospital continue.
Furthermore, the government offered 3,890 houses with their social facilities. It is building 262 houses in Mezitli and 588 houses in Mut for the low-income citizens, Erdogan added.
“We have ended the construction of 205 residences, one mosque and trade center in Gulnar. The construction of 416 residences, 36 shops, mosques and trade centers continues within the scope of the urban transformation project in the Chay neighborhood of our Mediterranean district. We plan to deliver these residences by the end of the year. We have four national garden projects. We opened Mersin Nation's Garden and Muzaffer Yalchintash Nation's Garden. We accelerated our work in Mezitli and Aydincik gardens,” he said.
Commenting on the road construction projects, Erdogan underlined that the Chukurova Regional Airport road junction nears the completion. He added that the construction of the Tarsus, Chamli roads, the Silifke-Mut separation road, the Tarsus Tourism Center road, and the Anamur-Kazanci-Ermenek road will end next year.
“We are putting the remaining sections of the Mediterranean coastal road, the Silifke-Mut, the Gulnar-Mut and the Mersin-Tarsus highway junction, and the Mersin Organized Industrial Zone junction into operation in 2023,” he concluded.
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