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Istanbul Airport, a mark of Turkey’s 2023 goals: Leader

With its target to serve 200 million passengers annually, Istanbul Airport is one of the symbols of Turkey's 2023 centennial goals, the country's president said on Sunday.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of third runway at Istanbul Airport, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the airport has become "Turkey's pride" since its inauguration in 2018.

The airport now gained its third independent runway, the second tower, and a new taxiway, he said.

"We managed to increase the flights from 60 destinations abroad to 350. Air cargo capacity, which was 303 tons per day, has reached 2,500 tons," Erdogan added.

A state guest house and mosque have also been added to the range of services at the facility.

The international airport, whose first phase officially opened in October 2018, is one of the most important and largest airports in the world with around 100 million annual passenger capacity.

It is projected to serve 200 million passengers annually with full capacity after the completion of all four phases with six runways by 2028.

The airport has thus far hosted a total of 423,000 flights and 65 million passengers, including 107,000 domestic flights and 316,000 international flights.

Touching upon transportation and infrastructure investments in Turkey, Erdogan said: "We increased the number of road tunnels from 83 to 395 and their length from 50 km [31 miles] to 523 km [325 miles]."

Additionally, highways in the country have been increased from 1,714 km (1,065 miles) to over 3,100 km (1,926 miles), he added.

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