The 1915 Canakkale Bridge, which has the longest main span of any suspension bridge in the world, connects Turkey‘s European and Asian shores across the Dardanelles Strait.
The €2.5bn marvel was officially opened by the Turkish President, Tayyip Erdogan, on 18 March.
Taking five years to complete – construction began in March 2017 – the entire bridge measures 4.6km (2.9 miles), while the midspan of 2,023m references the Turkish Republic’s 100th anniversary in 2023.
Drivers will have to pay 200 Turkish lira (£10) to use the bridge, but will be able to complete their journeys between Anatolia and the Gallipoli peninsula in just six minutes. The only previous option was a one-hour ferry ride.
The fourth bridge linking Turkey’s European and Asia shores, along with three built in Istanbul, it sits to the southwest of Turkey’s Sea of Marmara.
The name – 1915 Canakkale Bridge – commemorates “the anniversary of a 1915 Ottoman naval victory against French and British forces in the Dardanelles during World War One,” said Erdogan at the opening ceremony.
“These projects have a large share in putting our country ahead in investment, workforce and exports.”
He added: ”These works will continue to provide profit for the state for many years.“
Turkey is a transcontinental country crossing both Europe and Asia. Only around 3 per cent of the nation lies in the former, in the region of Thrace, with the majority located in the region known as Anatolia, or Asia Minor.
A natural border is created between the two by the Bosphorus Strait to the northeast of the Sea of Marmara, and the Dardanelles Strait to the southwest.
All prior existing bridges joining Turkey’s European and Asian shores cross over the Bosphorus Strait; 1915 Canakkale is the first to connect both sides of the Dardanelles Strait.