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.