In Turkey, the first high-speed rail lines project started in
2003 between cities of Ankara and Eskisehir, which was presented to
public use in 2009. At the time the Turkish State Railways
("TCDD") was the sole constructer of that project
since railway transportation was under the monopoly of the state.
Liberalization on Turkish railway transportation process started to
be liberalised with the enactment of the Statutory Decree in Force
of Law on Administrative Structure and Duties of the Ministry of
Transport, Maritime and Communication in 2011
("Decree"). With the Decree, Directorate General
of Railway Management ("Directorate") was
established with the goal of providing a fair and sustainable
competition in railway transportation sector in order to satisfy
the needs of the public, by making available railway transportation
services friendly and of high quality. Directorate was given the
special regulatory powers, such as specifying operation and service
principles as well as financial and professional requirements
applicable to service providers. Among all, issuing licenses for
operators wishing to take part in the railway transport business
was the most important one, in this liberalization process.
On the other hand, however, Temporary Article 8 of the Decree
provided that the powers attributed to the Directorate on the
liberalization of the railways, would not gain legal effect unless
the state monopoly in this sector is removed by another
legislation. Therefore, liberalization of the railway
transportation had to wait another two (2) years.
The Law on Liberalization of Turkish Railway Transportation ("Law") was
promulgated with the aim of replacing the state monopoly in the
railway transportation with a competitive and transparent market
environment by providing the passengers with the most suitable
rates and service quality. Unfortunately, scope of the Law is
limited only to the railways; metros, trams, light rail systems and
railways within mining and industrial facilities are not included
in this law.
The Law divides the market activities to be performed in the
railway sector into three categories: (i) construction of the
railway infrastructure, (ii) operation of the railway
infrastructure network and (iii) operation of the trains/railroad
cars by using the national railway infrastructure network.
Furthermore, the Law discharges TCDD from its train operation
related duties and it stipulates that a new company under the trade
name of "TCDD Taşımacılık
A.S." will be incorporated as a joint stock corporation.
Pursuant to Temporary Article 1 of the Law, all the relevant
vehicles and railroad cars, along with the personnel employed in
the operation service unit of TCDD. These transfers are required to
be completed within one-year following the incorporation date of
TCDD Taşımacılık A.S. and meanwhile, TCDD will
continue to provide train operation services.
Unfortunately, this TCDD Taşımacılık A.S.
has still not been established, even though the calendar on the
wall shows the year is almost 2016. It is planning by the
Turkish Government to enact the railway operator licence regulation
to determine the conditions of granting licences to private
investors to operating the trains/railroad cars by using the
national railway infrastructure network. One more vital regulation
on pricing railway infrastructure and services is still waiting for
its turn to be enacted.
To wrap it up; Turkey is still at the bottom of the ladder for
the liberalization of railway transportation. We have a long way to
go; first TCDD Taşımacılık A.S shall be
established, then secondary legislation will be enacted and then
the state will decide to issue licences to private investors.
Unfortunately, Turkey is already a back-maker of the race of speed
high-speed rail in the world and it is also running very slowly on
the liberalization of railway transportation. In spite of all these
facts, if Turkey decides to run faster, it can catch up the rest of
the world easily due to its powerful economical and manpower
resources. Obviously the untouched possibilities of railway
transportation of Turkey are still arousing the great attention of
both domestic and foreign investors.
 Statutory Decree on
Administrative Structure and Duties of the Ministry of Transport,
Maritime and Communication dated September 26, 2011 and numbered
655 and published in the Official Gazette dated November 01, 2011
and numbered 28102.
 Law on Liberalization of
Turkish Railway Transportation dated April 24, 2013 and numbered
6461 and published in the Official Gazette dated May 01, 2013 and
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