Confirm cookie choices
Cookies are pieces of code used to track website usage and give audiences the best possible experience.
Use the buttons to confirm whether you agree with default cookie settings when using

Ispartakule - Cerkezkoy Railway Line



Project number:


Business sector:


Notice type:


Approval date:

10 Nov 2021



PSD disclosed:

03 Jul 2020

Project Description

A sovereign loan of up to EUR 150 million to the Republic of Turkey. The Project will be implemented through the General Directorate of Infrastructure Investments ("AYGM"), The financing will be for the construction of a 67 km section of a new high-speed railway line from Ispartakule to Cerkezkoy including 200 km/h max design speed, double track, electrified railway and the required systems including ERTMS Level 1, power supply and auxiliaries.

The project is a part of the new high-speed railway (the Halkali - Kapikule railway line) between Istanbul and Kapikule near the Bulgarian border. The Halkali - Kapikule railway line will connect Turkey's railway network with the Trans European Transport Network ("TEN-T") through Bulgaria.  The Project aims to facilitate: (a) enhancement of the sustainability and safety of the national transport system; (b) improved efficiency of the transport system; (c) shift to sustainable, accessible and inclusive modes of public transport at the national level.

The Halkali - Kapikule railway line is comprised of Phase 1 (Cerkezkoy-Kapikule) and Phase 2 which also has 2 sections (Halkali- Ispartakule and Ispartakule-Cerkezkoy).  

Phase 1, which is under contruction, and the Halkali - Ispartakule section of Phase 2 will not be part of the Project financed by the Bank.

The project will be co-financed by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

Project Objectives

The project involves the development of safe, sustainable, low-carbon, and expedient passenger and freight rail transport between Turkey and the European Union to further facilitate trade via a new high-speed railway from Ispartakule to Cerkezkoy.

Transition Impact

ETI score: 70

The project's transition impact stems from the following key areas:

  1. Well-governed: The project is expected to support the ongoing efforts towards the reorganisation of the Turkish State Railways and help improve its operational efficiency. Policy dialogue and technical assistance linked to the project are expected to support enhancement of the legal and regulatory framework in order to improve the commercial orientation of the railway sector, and create opportunities for enhanced private sector participation.
  2. Integrated: The project will improve Turkey's domestic and cross-border connectivity . The project is aligned with the TEN-T and TRACECA initiatives, and will further support the enhancement of Eurasian trade corridors.

Client Information


The borrower will be Republic of Turkey  represented by Ministry of Treasury and Finance.  General Directorate of Infrastructure Investments ("AYGM") will be the Project implementation agency. The Turkish State Railways ("TCDD") will be the operator of the Project, upon its completion.

EBRD Finance Summary

EUR 150,000,000.00

A loan of up to EUR 150 million.

Total Project Cost

EUR 640,048,000.00

The total project cost is estimated at EUR 640.0 million for an approximately 67 km railway line.

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is providing parallel financing.


The EBRD will promote sector reform and sustainability, bringing experience in terms of railway sector restructuring and private sector involvement. The project will leverage the Bank's ability to promote the commercialisation and liberalisation of the railway sector in Turkey.

Environmental and Social Summary

The Project is categorised A under EBRD's Environmental and Social Policy (2014) as it has the potential to have significant environmental and social (E&S) impacts associated with the construction and operation of a long-distance railway line. Benefits of the Project include enhanced transport links within the regions and between Turkey and the EU, creation of jobs during construction and reduced CO2 emissions associated with a shift of road traffic to rail.

Environmental and Social Due Diligence (ESDD) commenced with a review of the existing approved national Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), which determined that a more comprehensive Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) was required. An E&S disclosure package has been developed in accordance with the EBRD Performance Requirements (PRs) which includes:

  • an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment Report (ESIA)
  • a Non-Technical Summary (NTS),
  • Environmental and Social Management Plan (ESMP),
  • a Resettlement Action Plan (RAP), and a Guide to Land Acquisition and Compensation for communities; and
  • a Stakeholder Engagement Plan (SEP).

This E&S disclosure package has been reviewed by the Bank and disclosed in English and Turkish for a period of 120 days prior to the EBRD's Board approval in line with the Bank's Access to Information Policy (AIP).

The route of the Project is generally aligned with that of the existing Ispartakule-Cerkezkoy railway with some deviations (e.g. for technical reasons or to avoid resettlement), particularly in the west and does not cross any national or internationally protected areas.  The route primarily crosses habitats which are common and widespread in the region and in Turkey. The biodiversity and critical habitat assessment identified Priority Biodiversity Features (PBFs) including oak/hornbeam woodland (74.3ha) and critical habitat supporting six threatened, endemic plant species. The Project crosses two designated Important Bird Areas (IBAs), one of which is a Key Biodiversity Area (KBA):  Impacts on the Terkos Basin IBA/KBA are expected to be limited since the Project crosses modified habitat, a significant distance from the wetland habitats supporting the IBA trigger species; the Project crosses the boundary of the Buyukcekmece Lake IBA, in habitats which are not considered to be of high value for the majority of trigger species except the white headed duck for which it is critical habitat. Acoustic and visual disturbance to bird species is not predicted to be significant and risk of collision of birds with the railway infrastructure and trains during operation will be mitigated by the installation of adapted fencing in areas of high risk. A Biodiversity Management Plan has been developed, which includes specific conservation actions aimed at achieving No Let Loss / Net Gain for PBFs and critical habitat and will be further developed and implemented by AYGM.

Noise and vibration impacts have the potential to be significant in certain locations during construction and noise impacts will be managed in line with the national and international standards and with good practice mitigation measures such as noise barriers and restriction on working times. Where residual  impacts are predicted to be significant residents will be offered the opportunity to temporarily relocate during the construction activity at the cost of the Project.

Updated noise modelling has determined that during the operations phase, noise and vibration will be mitigated in accordance with IFC and Turkish standards through installation of noise barriers and through specific track design measures.  

An assessment of rail and tunnel safety has been undertaken and will be managed in accordance with national and EU standards. A railway safety plan has been developed which includes detailed requirements for management of safety risks including fire safety; ventilation and emergency escape systems; seismic hazards. The final design and construction will be reviewed by an independent consultant to verify compliance with the required safety and technical requirements. An Emergency Response Framework has been prepared and will be developed into a detailed plan for construction and operation phases.

The Project will be fenced along its entire alignment with controlled access to people where needed through crossings which will pass either under or over the railway, which provides significant mitigation of community health and safety impacts.  An occupational health and safety plan will be developed for construction and operation phases. AYGM and TCDD , their contractor and sub-contractors will also be required to manage potential impacts to workers and communities including  labour rights of construction workers and their working conditions,  health and safety risks  to workers and communties and will establish and implement an internal grievance mechanism in line with the Bank requirements. The Project will also identify and address any gender issues, including gender based violence and harrassment risks (GBVH) to workers and communities and passengers during operations phaseand will develop and implement a stand-alone gender equality and GBVH action plan.

The total area of land affected by the Project is estimated at 503 ha, which will be acquired on a permanent basis for the construction and operation of the railway and associated infrastructure (cuttings, embankments, sidings etc). Approximately 47% of the land is in private ownership covering 1050 parcels and the majority of these are used for agriculture. The Project is estimated to result in physical displacement of 59 households.  A RAP and associated Guide to Land Acquisition and Compensation has been developed to define mitigation, compensation and livelihood restoration measures in line with national law and the Bank requirements (PR 5).  Detailed compensation, assistance and livelihood restoration measures have been included in the RAP with specific measures to support vulnerable people affected by the project. The implementation of RAP will be verified through internal and external monitoring activities and a RAP completion audit.

Consultations have been undertaken to inform the ESIA and RAP. A SEP has been prepared defining engagement activities during the Project lifecycle including alternative engagement approaches to mitigate risks related to Covid-19 in line with national authorities and WHO guidance. A grievance mechanism has been established for external stakeholders in line with the Bank requirements. During the disclosure period, consultation meetings, including dedicated meetings for women, were held within the Project area and staakeholders also submitted written and verbal feedback on the Project. No material updates to the ESIA are required in response to the feedback received. The main areas of feedback included highlighting project benefits such as opportunities for employment and improved connectivity and various queries relating to: land acquisition and compensation, including timing of crop valuations; requests for modifications to or provision of additional crossing points over/under the railway; and regarding the possibility of providing additional stations to improve local connectivity. To respond to stakeholder feedback, AYGM will need to provide clarifications to affected people on the timing of crop valuation and compensation, review crossing requirements during the detailed design and further communicate to stakeholders regarding the choice of stations on the high-speed line. AYGM will continue to undertake further stakeholder engagement as outlined in the SEP.

The scope of the ESIA includes the Project and the railway section between Halkali-Ispartakule (which is not financed by the Bank) which is an associated facility and will be implemented in accordance with national and Bank E&S requirements as described in the ESIA.  An ESMP has been prepared including the mitigation measures and roles and responsibilities between AYGM, construction contractor and TCDD. The ESMP also establishes a defined process for managing any Project changes e.g. during the detailed design. The Construction Contractor will develop a set of environmental and social management plans to implement the mitigation measures identified as part of ESIA/ESMP in line with the Bank requirements. An Environmental and Social Action Plan (ESAP) has been developed and disclosed and the project will be monitored regularly by independent Environmental and Social consultants to ensure compliance with the ESAP and the Performance Requirements.

Technical Cooperation and Grant Financing

The Bank has provided technical assistance to develop and implement the Project in accordance with the Bank's requirements. This technical cooperation support for the project includes:

  • Review of the legal and regulatory framework for the liberalisation of Turkish railway sector.
  • Assistance in undertaking technical due diligence.
  • Assistance in undertaking Environmental and Social Impact Assessment.
  • Assistance in tendering and implementation of the Project.

The TC programme is subject to further amendments and confirmation. Additionally the EBRD will promote sector reform and sustainability, bringing experience in terms of railway sector restructuring and private sector involvement. The project will leverage the Bank's  ability to promote the commercialisation and liberalisation of the railway sector in Turkey.

Company Contact Information

Serhat Koksal, Ph.D. (Director General) Ministry of Treasury & Finance, General Directorate of Foreign Economic Relations / Serdar Unsal (Deputy General Manager) Ministry of Transport & Infrastructure //
+90 312 204 7357 + 90 312 203 1508 //
Inonu Bulvari, No:36, 06510, Emek, Ankara // General Directorate of Infrastructure Investments, Hakki Turaylic Caddesi No:5 Emek, Cankaya, Ankara

Implementation summary

PSD last updated

20 Oct 2021

Understanding Transition

Further information regarding the EBRD’s approach to measuring transition impact is available here.

Business opportunities

For business opportunities or procurement, contact the client company.

For business opportunities with EBRD (not related to procurement) contact:

Tel: +44 20 7338 7168

For state-sector projects, visit EBRD Procurement:

Tel: +44 20 7338 6794

General enquiries

Specific enquiries can be made using the EBRD Enquiries form.

Environmental and Social Policy (ESP)

The ESP and the associated Performance Requirements (PRs) set out the ways in which the EBRD implements its commitment to promoting “environmentally sound and sustainable development”.  The ESP and the PRs include specific provisions for clients to comply with the applicable requirements of national laws on public information and consultation as well as to establish a grievance mechanism to receive and facilitate resolution of stakeholders’ concerns and grievances, in particular, about environmental and social performance of the client and the project. Proportionate to the nature and scale of a project’s environmental and social risks and impacts, the EBRD additionally requires its clients to disclose information, as appropriate, about the risks and impacts arising from projects or to undertake meaningful consultation with stakeholders and consider and respond to their feedback.

More information on the EBRD’s practices in this regard is set out in the ESP.

Integrity and Compliance

The EBRD's Office of the Chief Compliance Officer (OCCO) promotes good governance and ensures that the highest standards of integrity are applied to all activities of the Bank in accordance with international best practice. Integrity due diligence is conducted on all Bank clients to ensure that projects do not present unacceptable integrity or reputational risks to the Bank. The Bank believes that identifying and resolving issues at the project assessment approval stages is the most effective means of ensuring the integrity of Bank transactions. OCCO plays a key role in these protective efforts, and also helps to monitor integrity risks in projects post-investment.

OCCO is also responsible for investigating allegations of fraud, corruption and misconduct in EBRD-financed projects. Anyone, both within or outside the Bank, who suspects fraud or corruption should submit a written report to the Chief Compliance Officer by email to All matters reported will be handled by OCCO for follow-up. All reports, including anonymous ones, will be reviewed. Reports can be made in any language of the Bank or of the Bank's countries of operation. The information provided must be made in good faith.

Access to Information Policy (AIP)

The AIP 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 following its entry into force on 1 January 2020. Please visit the Access to Information Policy page to find out what information is available from the EBRD website.

Specific requests for information can be made using the EBRD Enquiries form.

Independent Project Accountability Mechanism (IPAM)

If efforts to address environmental, social or public disclosure concerns with the Client or the Bank are unsuccessful (e.g. through the Client’s Project-level grievance mechanism or through direct engagement with Bank management), individuals and organisations may seek to address their concerns through the EBRD’s Independent Project Accountability Mechanism (IPAM).

IPAM independently reviews Project issues that are believed to have caused (or to be likely to cause) harm. The purpose of the Mechanism is: to support dialogue between Project stakeholders to resolve environmental, social and public disclosure issues; to determine whether the Bank has complied with its Environmental and Social Policy or Project-specific provisions of its Access to Information Policy; and where applicable, to address any existing non-compliance with these policies, while preventing future non-compliance by the Bank.

Please visit the Independent Project Accountability Mechanism webpage to find out more about IPAM and its mandate; how to submit a Request for review; or contact IPAM  via email to get guidance and more information on IPAM and how to submit a request.


Share this page:
GDPR Cookie Status