Railway trade between Turkey and Bulgaria is revived

Capacity expansion in the railway traffic Turkey-Bulgaria

Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Adil Karaismailoğlu and Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister for Economy and Transport and Communications Hristo Aleksiev participated in bilateral and interdelegative meetings at the Kapıkule border gate. A consensus was reached between Turkey and Bulgaria on accelerating and increasing transport capacity, especially on rail.

After the talks Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Adil Karaismailoğlu and Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister for Economy and Transport and Communications Hristo Aleksiev held a press conference. Minister Karaismaioğlu said they held an important and productive meeting on border crossings. Noting that exports increased very rapidly after the Covid-19 epidemic, Karaismailoğlu explained that in this sense a great burden was imposed on the customs gates.

Karaismailoğlu stressed that the Bulgarian side made very important contributions to relieve, speed up the crossings and eliminate the problems at the Kapıkule border gate, which stretches from the Far East to Europe, saying: “The long queues at the gates in the past Days have come down sharply through their dedicated effort, but of course. Due to the increasing exports, there will be further burdens in the coming days. We are also holding important talks to increase capacity on the highway at the gates and speed up transitions,” said.

Karaismailoğlu stressed that the railway is also very important in transportation because the capacity of road transportation is safe.


Stressing the need to increase the capacity of rail transport, Karaismailoğlu continued: “(International Transport) Shifting freight transport to rail is one of our biggest tasks. We are conducting important negotiations for the rapid increase in capacity of both Turkish and Bulgarian railways. Hopefully in the coming days we’ll increase rail transitions much, much more. Also, we need to support sea route and ro-ro transportation. For this reason, as a ministry, we are carrying out important measures to develop Turkish RoRo flights with connections to Burgas, Varna and Romania. We had put in place the necessary regulations to encourage RoRo. Hopefully our trade will both increase and our problems at the gates will decrease. Bulgaria is Turkey’s gateway to Europe. Our long-standing friendly relationships are also reflected in our trade, and we need constant exchanges to develop trade further. However, as Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary, we have important studies on how to develop rail transport. We will be holding our quartet meetings again in the coming days. Today’s meeting was very productive to find solutions to Turkey’s growing volume of trade and improve relations with friendly countries.”


Aleksiev said that today they talked about the work to be done and the actions to be taken to speed up customs crossings. Aleksiev expressed that due to the Russia-Ukraine war, logistics were delivered to Europe via Bulgaria, explaining that because of this, vehicle density occurs from time to time.

Aleksiev explained that highways alone would not be enough for such a heavy flow of traffic, stressing that railways and sea routes should also be included in this traffic. Noting that from last October to October this year, more than 100,000 trucks passed through customs, Aleksiev said: “Of course, such a large influx of vehicles was processed by the employees of both countries. We all know that this trend from Asia to Europe will increase. That’s why we decided to use the rail and sea route seriously. Freight forwarders in Bulgaria approve their trucks for passage through state railways. In this way, the loads are to be shifted from Turkey to the railways.” said.

Alexiev; He said that the existing railways are full and that another railway customs office should be opened as an alternative. Aleksiev expressed that they also made some decisions to speed up customs crossings and thanked Minister Karaismailoğlu.

During the meeting between the delegations, increasing the capacity and speed of transport between the two countries was discussed. The importance of the transport capacity between the two countries, especially the railways, was stressed. TCDD Managing Director Hasan Pezük informed about the work done.

Turkish Ambassador to Sofia Aylin Eightkök, Governor of Edirne H. Kürşat Kırbıyık, Deputy Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Enver İskurt, Deputy Minister of Trade Rıza Tuna Turagay, Director General of TCDD Hasan Pezük, Director General of TCDD Taşımacılık AŞ Ufuk Yalçın, the Deputy Minister of Transport of Bulgaria and Infrastructure. Ankara Ambassador Anguel Tcholakov, Bulgarian Consul General in Edirne Borislav Dimitrov, Deputy Ministers of Transport and Communications Diliana Doichinova and Krasimir Papukchiyki, Bulgarian Deputy Finance Minister Aleksander Svrakov and other interested parties.

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