The Law on Liberalization of Turkish Railway Transportation
Numbered 6461 ("Law No 6461") has been published in the
Official Gazette and is now in full force and effect as of May 01,
2013. Previously, the railways were under the strict control and
regulation of the state. By the entry into force of the Law No
6461, the private sector will now play an active role in railway
infrastructure and transportation.
In essence, the government aims to increase and encourage the
use of railway transportation. Notwithstanding that the state will
still have control over the national railroads, the most important
change brought by this new legislation is that the private sector
will henceforth also have the opportunity to be active in the
railway sector provided they are authorized by the Ministry of
Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communications
("Ministry"). With this legislation, private companies
can now either purchase or lease their own railroad cars to use for
Pursuant to Law No 6461, a new public entity namely TCDD
Tasimacilik Anonim Sirketi ("TCDD A.S.") will be
incorporated and will act as a railway wagon and railway car
operator. Previously, Turkish State Railways ("TCDD") was
a state monopoly, acting as the sole authorized operator of the
railways for the carriage of passengers and cargo. As of May 01,
2013, TCDD A.S and/or private entities will be entitled to be
designated as an authorized railroad car operator.
Article 6 of the Law No 6461 provides that public or private
entities may be authorized by the Ministry to:
(i) build their own railway infrastructure,
(ii) act as railway infrastructure operators on the railway
infrastructure which is either owned by themselves and/or other
(iii) act as a railroad car operator within the national railway
The procedures and principles on how these authorizations are to
be granted will be regulated by a regulation to be issued by the
Ministry at a future date.
Additionally, pursuant to Articles 5 and 6, if private entities
demand railway connection lines or wish to build their own railway
infrastructure, the Ministry will expropriate real-estate necessary
to build such infrastructure. Following the expropriation, easement
rights shall be created in favor of the private entity for a
maximum period of 49 years. The cost of the expropriation shall be
levied by the Ministry to the private entity. After the end of the
above period, the title to the real estate or any properties built
on such real estate shall automatically be transferred to the
Treasury free of any charges or compensation.
Moreover, according to Article 3 of the Law No 6461, TCDD is
also entitled to lease the areas of the railroad infrastructure
which is not related to the railway traffic to third parties or
allow third parties to operate these areas.
Finally, by Article 8 of the Law No 6461, certain railway
operators (to be determined by the Council of Ministers) shall be
responsible for providing various public services. An agreement
shall be executed between the Ministry and railroad car operators
in relation to such services.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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