In July 2007, UITP opened a liaison office in Istanbul, Turkey, which is of strategic importance for the Association as Turkey is widely recognised as being the bridge between Europe and the Middle East and Asia.
Taking into consideration the specific needs of its Turkish members, the liaison office allows UITP to provide a closer and more local service to its members from Turkey. The liaison office guarantees UITP’s presence in the country and establishes a direct link between Turkey, the main office in Brussels and the other regional offices around the world.
UITP activities in Turkey have been continuously growing since the opening of the office. Conferences, seminars, workshops, training sessions and working group meetings have taken place in cities such as Istanbul, İzmir, Bursa, Eskişehir, Konya, Gaziantep, Adana and Kayseri. Study tours and trade missions have taken place within and outside the country for Turkish members. Customised information and services have also been developed to answer specific requests.
Turkey is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. The steady economic growth of 7% during six subsequent years and a quick recovery after the 2009 economic crisis is also reflected by the significant public transport developments over the last few years. The country has committed to double the urban rail infrastructure by 2023. Several BRT systems are also being built and have started operating recently.
Beyond the success of the National Conferences in İstanbul (2006), İzmir (2007), Adana (2008), Kayseri (2011) and Izmir (2013), UITP also organised the International Bus Conference in Istanbul in 2012 as well as the International Light Rail Conference in 2009.
The UITP Turkey Office has the following objectives:
- Gather UITP members in Turkey
- Foster knowledge exchange
- Increase the participation of Turkish members in UITP activities