Istanbul’s new airport to be named after Tayyip Erdoğan

Istanbul’s third airport, currently under construction and set to open in 2017, will be named after President-elect Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, ‘RTE Airport’, according to a report in the Taraf daily on Wednesday.

According to the report, the name of the airport will be officially announced after Erdoğan is inaugurated as Turkey’s 12th president.

Transport, Maritime and Communication Minister Lütfi Elvan, while responding to questions from journalists on Wednesday, said Erdoğan deserved the gesture. “For 12 years, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has played a very important role in the development of this country,” said Elvan.

The airport is set to open in 2017 and will be the largest airport in the world, serving 150 million passengers annually. The project has created concerns among environmentalists, who say its construction will threaten the livelihood of dozens of species of animals that call the area home. It has been speculated that the water sources that provide İstanbul with the bulk of its drinking water will be diminished as a result of the airport, which will also create a considerable increase in traffic.

President-elect Erdoğan has enjoyed a variety of locations and objects being granted his namesake in recent years. The name of Rize University — located in the province of Rize, where Erdoğan’s family hails from — was changed to Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University in 2012.

The university subsequently named two newly discovered fish “Recepi” and “Eminae” in January of this year, after Erdoğan and his wife, Emine; however, the university denied that the future president and first lady directly inspired the choice.

Earlier this year, a new species of orchid discovered in Singapore was given the name “Dendrobifm Tayyip-Emine Erdoğan” following the Erdoğans’ visit to the Singapore Botanic Park.

A variety of streets, stadiums, parks and other locations throughout Turkey bear the president-elect’s name. 


About yavuzbaydar

Yavuz Baydar has been an award-winning Turkish journalist, whose professional activity spans nearly four decades. In December 2013, Baydar co-founded the independent media platform, P24, Punto24, to monitor the media sector of Turkey, as well as organizing surveys, and training workshops. Baydar wrote opinion columns, in Turkish, liberal daily Ozgur Dusunce and news site Haberdar, and in English, daily Today's Zaman, on domestic and foreign policy issues related to Turkey, and media matters, until all had to cease publications due to growing political oppression. Currently, he writes regular chronicles for Die Süddeutsche Zeitung, and opinion columns for the Arab Weekly, as well as analysis for Index on Censorship. Baydar blogs with the Huffington Post, sharing his his analysis and views on Turkish politics, the Middle East, Balkans, Europe, U.S-Turkish relations, human rights, free speech, press freedom, history, etc. His opinion articles appeared at the New York Times, the Guardian, El Pais, Svenska Dagbladet, and Al Jazeera English online. Turkey’s first news ombudsman, beginning at Milliyet daily in 1999, Baydar worked in the same role as reader representative until 2014. His work included reader complaints with content, and commentary on media ethics. Working in a tough professional climate had its costs: he was twice forced to leave his job, after his self-critical columns on journalistic flaws and fabricated news stories. Baydar worked as producer and news presenter in Swedish Radio &TV Corp. (SR) Stockholm, Sweden between 1979-1991; as correspondent for Scandinavia and Baltics for Turkish daily Cumhuriyet between 1980-1992, and the BBC World Service, in early 1990's. Returning to Turkey in 1994, he worked as reporter and ediytor for various outlets in print, as well as hosting debate porogrammes in public and private TV channels. Baydar studied informatics, cybernetics and, later, had his journalism ediucatiob in the University of Stockholm. Baydar served as president of the U.S. based International Organizaton of News Ombudsmen (ONO) in 2003. He was a Knight-Wallace Fellow at University of Michigan in 2004. Baydar was given the Special Award of the European Press Prize (EPP), for 'excellence in journalism', along with the Guardian and Der Spiegel in 2014. He won the Umbria Journalism Award in March 2014 and Caravella/Mare Nostrum Prize in 2015; both in Italy. Baydar completed an extensive research on self-censorship, corruption in media, and growing threats over journalism in Turkey as a Shorenstein Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.
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