At the invitation of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, His Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew witnessed on Monday the inauguration of Istanbul’s new airport, on the 95th anniversary of the day when Turkey was declared a republic, marking the end of the Ottoman Empire.
Patriarch Bartholomew was accompanied by the Chief Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Archimandrite Joachim Billis.
Completed within 42 months, Istanbul’s new airport will also be home to the world’s largest duty-free shopping complex.
By the year’s end, the new airport will be able to handle up to 90 million passengers annually with a 1.4 million square meter terminal building, ranking in the world’s top five. The number will rise to 200 million passengers when all facilities are complete and will become the world’s largest airport.
The airport is scheduled to complete on multiple phases and has a future expansion plan. It is replacing the 65-year-old Istanbul Atatürk Airport, which will no longer be operating as an airport, but rather be inaugurated as a mega park in coincidence with opening the new airport.
According to Erdoğan, the new facility will be simply called ‘Istanbul’s Airport’.