REVENUE services on Ankara’s 14·6 km metro serving the western portion of the capital began on Monday December 29, following inauguration ceremonies the previous day. The first heavy metro in Turkey, the US$1bn line started in 1991 was completed almost a year late.

Running below Atatürk Boulevard, the metro links the northwestern suburb of Batikent with an interchange to the light metro at Kizilay in the city centre; there are 12 stations. The line has been built under a DBOM concession by a consortium of Turkish civil engineering groups Gama and Guris and Canadian M&E suppliers Bombardier, UTDC and Lavalin. Power supply equipment came from Cegelec, and the fleet of 108 cars from Bombardier.

The city administration hopes to push ahead with two extensions running south and southwest from Kizilay, which form part of a transport development strategy adopted in 1994. Mayor Melih Gokcek has applied for federal assistance, insisting that ’the city lacks the resources needed for immediate continuation of the construction work.’ o