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    • A new high-speed train project connecting Eskişehir to Antalya will be realized, Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communication Minister Ahmet Arslan announced on Feb.19, Doğan News Agency has reported. Arslan said the line between the Central Anatolian province of Eskişehir and the Mediterranean province of Antalya would pass through the Aegean province of Afyonkarahisar.

      Speaking after the visit of Eskişehir Governor Azmi Çelik, Arslan stressed that Eskişehir was a significant junction point for transportation and praised various train, highway and aviation projects carried out under 14 years of Justice and Development Party (AKP) rule. “We see that millions of people are taking journeys by high-speed trains nowadays. We have linked Eskişehir, Bilecik, Kocaeli and Istanbul with each other,” he added. 

      Turkey’s long-awaited high-speed railway line between the capital Ankara and the financial capital Istanbul was inaugurated on July 25, 2016.  The train is capable of reaching speed of up to 250 kilometers an hour. The train stops in Ankara, Polatlı, Eskişehir, Bozüyük, Bilecik, Pamukova, Sapanca, İzmit, Gebze and Pendik. The project, which is worth $4 billion, was completed in phases. The Ankara-Polatlı-Eskişehir section opened in March 2009, followed by Polatlı-Konya in August 2011. A through service from Konya to Eskişehir was introduced in 2013. Arslan also stated that the Eskişehir and Bolu high-speed train lines would be connected to each other in due course.

      “[Bolu] is known for its thermal tourism. We have issued a tender for that part of the line, approximately 25,000 kilometers of which will be a dual carriageway. We will connect to Bolu through Göynük, which is known as an important touristic center,” he added. Arslan said Turkey became sixth in Europe and eighth in usage and production of speed-trains, remarking that the first Turkish automobile was produced in Eskişehir during his visit to the factory of TÜLOMSAŞ, a leading local locomotive maker.  

      “TÜLOMSAŞ became a locomotive motor producer for the railway sector today. They say today ‘we will produce the first Turkish high-speed train.’ If workers believe that, supporting them is our duty,” he said.

      Istanbul-Sofia express starts journeys

      Arslan has announced that a new train line between Istanbul and Bulgaria’s capital Sofia will start its journeys on Feb. 20, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported. Arslan said the construction works of the railway, which stands on 292 kilometers between Kapıkule and Istanbul, has been completed, adding that there was no need to extend the railway beyond these points. “The decision to establish a new railway line was made with an agreement between Bulgarian railways and Turkey’s State Railways [TCDD]. The express will make journeys between Sofia and Istanbul every day. TCDD’s rolling stock will include two wagons, two wagon-lits and a couchette car,” he said.

      Arslan stated that new lines connecting to Bucharest and Belgrade will be added in the summer. “The train will start from the Halkalı district of Istanbul at 10:40 p.m. Another train will run its journey from Sofia at 9:00 p.m. The travel time will be approximately nine hours and 50 minutes,” he added.
      Arslan said train services to and from Sofia and Istanbul will be in both directions. February/20/2017 Source: Hurriyet Daily News
    • Thank you Ken. I shall contact them as soon as I am able to.
    • Seems to me they are saying basically the same thing: I read what was said by ExpatGuideTurkey, where they said people who over-stayed twice in turkey could not come back even on a visa. But when I read the law, the law says nothing about this. And I ever heard of anyone being permanently banned from Turkey because they had more than one overstay. I would suggest you contact the owner of that site and ask for a reference, a source from which they got that information. This is indeed a scary situation. But don't worry too much. I am seeing in your profile that you are a US citizen (as I am). I've interacted many times with the US embassy in Ankara, and consulates in Istanbul, Ankara, and Adana, and I have found the people there (practically all Turkish-American citizens!) to be very helpful and professional. They care about you and will look after you, and they are happy to help you. Also there is this thing about Turkey. What is written in law is not necessarily what happens. If you explain your situation, the Turkish officials are often flexible on the rules. I think the key is to contact the US embassy/consulate first. See if they can help you. If they tell you to go to a certain place, ask them to make a call for you to let them know you are coming, and get a name of someone to report to (as well as the name of the person you spoke to). When when you get there, and talk to the Turkish official, you will be coming to them after the US Embassy/Consular official has called them. I think that will make a world of difference in your favor. I really think you will be okay. But yes, please keep us updated! This is how we learn!
    • Hello ken. Thanks for that information. Https://www.expatguideturkey.com/the-consequences-of-overstaying-in-turkey/ I found the link to ...   Its a long page .. screen shot of the man who wrote this info.   I am going to follow your advice tho. I have read so many pages and that is how I found this page.  I have not read about a perm ban anywhere else and naturally I was scared to death.   Thanks for the help.  I may respond to the other man and tell him he needs to not write such things as it seems to be wrong info.  maybe he needs to clarify with more info as to why a person could get a perm ban.   I hope my ban is not 5 years.  No matter how long it is it will be toooooo long as I love Turkey and really want to stay here.  I hope that I can pay it off when I get back to the US and come back hopefully within a years time.  I will keep this upsated to let anyone know what happens leaving and how to go about paying a fine and lifting a ban once back in America.   thanks  Bel1.docx
    • Shelly, here is the residence permit law: Law on Foreigners and International Protection, dated April 2014. See Article 9, Paragraphs (3) and (4): It would be best to contact the local US Consulate or Embassy and let them know about this, then have them coordinate with the Turkish authorities. This happened to me before also, the US Consulate in Izmir helped me over the phone and made some phone calls to the Turkish authorities for me. In my case, it was an overstay of 70 days, and just a matter of paying a fine and applying for a new residence permit (that was several years ago). But it should also help in your case too, and minimize the probability of a long ban. That way, if you want to pay a fine to have the ban removed, the ban will hopefully be a shorter one, and therefore the fine will be less. And in a case like this, it never hurts to consult with a US consular official first.