The first High-Speed train linking Istanbul to Ankara prepares to leave the Ankara train station during its inauguration on July 25, 2014. AFP PHOTO / STR
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Erdogan's other projects include a 50 kilometer channel to rival the Suez Canal that would render half of Istanbul an island, an airport which Ankara claims will be the world's biggest and a giant mosque atop an Istanbul hill.The trains on the new link, made by Spain's CAF and with a top speed of 250 km/h, will initially cover the 533 kilometer distance in three and a half hours, significantly faster than existing journey times of between six and eight hours.The line is planned to link up next year with the $2.8 billion Marmaray rail link below the Bosphorus Strait in Istanbul, the first underwater rail link between Asia and Europe, which Erdogan opened last October.
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