Turkey Eurasia Tunnel



Project number:


Business sector:


Notice type:


Environmental category:


Approval date:

13 Jun 2012



PSD disclosed:

17 Mar 2011

Translated version of this PSD: Turkish

Project Description and Objectives

EBRD has provided loan financing to Avrasya Tüneli İşletme İnşaat ve Yatirim Anonim Şirketi (“ATAS”), a special purpose company established by the Turkey-Korea Joint Venture consortium, the concessionaire competitively selected by the Turkish Government to design, finance, build, operate and maintain the Istanbul Strait Road Tube Crossing (the “Eurasia Tunnel”). The Project’s key purpose is to address the growing traffic congestion in the Istanbul region.

Transition Impact

The Project provides for expansion of private sector participation in the provision of capital, as well as project management, construction and operational expertise in the transport sector in Turkey. The Project will broaden and further consolidate the benefits of private sector involvement through cost efficiency and timely delivery of a large infrastructure investment.

The Client

Avrasya Tüneli İşletme İnşaat ve Yatirim Anonim Şirketi (“ATAS”) – a company holding the concession to design, finance, build, operate and maintain the Eurasia Tunnel.

EBRD Finance

A senior loan of up to USD 150 million.

Project Cost

Up to USD 1.2 billion.

Environmental Impact

Categorisation and justification

The Project has been categorised A. An ESIA is required in accordance with Appendix 1 of the 2008 EBRD Environmental and Social Policy.

Information reviewed
Independent consultants prepared an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA), Stakeholder Engagement Plan, Resettlement Policy Framework and other documents to meet international lender requirements. These were reviewed by lenders and by the lenders independent consultants.

Environmental and Social issues

The Turkish Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF - Çevre ve Orman Bakanlığı) concluded that the proposed project was not within the scope of the Turkish EIA Regulation and an EIA was not therefore required. However, ATAŞ contracted an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) to international standards for the Project (which includes a Resettlement Framework) which was disclosed to the public following its endorsement by the Republic of Turkey Directorate of Railways, Seaports and Airports Construction (DLH).

The main impacts of the project identified in the  ESIA are:

  • impacts on the historic sites and features of the old city;
  • risks of discovery of buried archaeology;
  • impacts from increased traffic on noise and air quality;
  • disturbance during construction;
  • construction pollution;
  • construction transport;
  • involuntary resettlement;
  • management of the construction workforce and worker health and safety; and
  • management of accidents and emergencies.

The route selected in the European part of the Project runs alongside the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Historic Areas of Istanbul, an area of international importance.  The Ministry of Culture provided a copy of the draft ESIA to UNESCO. The Client responded to all of the issues raised by ICOMOS (advisers to UNESCO) and other stakeholders during the ESIA disclosure period via the ‘Eurasia Tunnel Project Consultation Report on ESIA Report Disclosure’ which is available on the Project website. 

As requested by UNESCO World Heritage Centre (WHC), a Heritage Impact Assessment was prepared in accordance with ICOMOS guidelines in 2014 and provided to the WHC. Examples of the Project design and construction activities recommendations that were adopted as a results of the HIA include: 

  • Elevation of the interchange structures were reduced.
  • Quality of connection to the Marble Tower is increased with slightly shifting of Project alignment.

The project has adopted a precautionary approach with respect to archaeology. Chance finds procedures are in place and all relevant workers have been trained about how to deal with archaeological finds. Full time archaeologists work on site during all excavation works and under the control of the Istanbul Archaeology Museum and relevant Preservation Council. In case of chance finds within the scope of the Project, all laws and regulations have been strictly followed and actions have been taken with the official consent decision of relevant Preservation Council and Istanbul Archaeology Museum.

Open house presentations were made on both the European side and the Asian side of the route, and local Muhtars (neighbourhood leaders) assisted with the consultation process during the EIA disclosure process.  During construction the project has proactively engaged with potentially affected people, provided information on its website and at construction sites.  In addition an extensive programme of engagement with other stakeholders such as IMM, Administration, UNESCO, WHC, Ministry of Culture, Muhtars and institutional or individual interested stakeholders continues to be implemented.  As a result of stakeholder engagement, additional environmental and social studies have been carried out such as the HIA at the request of UNESCO WHC and air quality studies  following the request of residents the Cankurtaran Neighbourhood.

The Stakeholder Engagement Plan for the project has been updated in line with the changes in the phases of the Project.

Also a ‘Final Design Disclosure Document’ brochure was prepared and disclosed on the project website.

Efforts to reduce land expropriation to a minimum were sought through micro re-alignments during the detailed design stage. It was originally predicted that potentially economic impacts to 70 businesses  may be affected by the project, however with design changes and arrangements  investigated further by the Client the number of impacted business reduced to 50. In addition to the Resettlement Policy Framework, individual Land Acquisition Compensation and Resettlement Action Plans were prepared and agreed with project affected people. No residential properties will need to be acquired for the project.

The Road Safety Audit of the Project was conducted in two different stages (Preliminary design and detailed design) in accordance with European Directive 2008/96/EC and two more stages will be conducted. Results of the audit were considered and where appropriate will be implemented in the next phase of the Project such as usage of protective equipments in tunnel (crash cushions), corrections on  road geometry and design of the car parks.

Environmental or social opportunities

The project is expected improve accessibility and to contribute to reductions in traffic on minor streets throughout the peninsula and on the route around the eastern end of the peninsula.

Environmental and Social Action Plan

An Environmental and Social Action Plan (ESAP) has been developed and publicly disclosed on the Project website. The ESAP includes the requirements for: the appointment of a qualified Environment and Social Manager; development of an environmental and social management system; environmental, health, safety and labour training of contractors; design change management procedures to assess environmental and social risks; the development and implementation of any resettlement needed in compliance with PR5 requirements and a traffic management plan.   

The project has been subject to regular monitoring by Independent Environmental and Social Consultant and periodically by the Environment and Sustainability Department.  Observations and recommendations for improvement from site visits and review of reports have been addressed on a timely basis. The project is meeting the Performance Requirements and also providing an example of good practice for other large infrastructure projects in Turkey to follow

There is an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment available for this project.

Technical Cooperation


Company Contact

ATAS for Project enquiries

Tel: +90 216 474 05 20; Fax: +90 216 474 05 24

Kemal Özbelli (kemal.ozbelli@avrasyatuneli.com) or

Murat Gücüyener (murat.gucuyener@avrasyatuneli.com)


Business opportunities

For business opportunities or procurement, contact the client company.

For state-sector projects, visit EBRD Procurement: Tel: +44 20 7338 6794
Email: procurement@ebrd.com

General enquiries

EBRD project enquiries not related to procurement:
Tel: +44 20 7338 7168
Email: projectenquiries@ebrd.com

Public Information Policy (PIP)

The PIP sets out how the EBRD discloses information and consults with its stakeholders so as to promote better awareness and understanding of its strategies, policies and operations. Please visit the Public Information Policy page below to find out how to request a Public Sector Board Report.
Text of the PIP

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