A loan for 200 million euro has been issued by the European Investment Bank (EIB) to support the construction of a high-speed line between Turkey’s two largest cities.

The EIB has now pledged 1.5 billion euros to the project, which aims to construct the country’s first high-speed railway line between Istanbul and Ankara.

The new line will also connect with the Marmaray tunnel – an undersea crossing beneath the Bosphorus strait, improving rail links between Europe and Asia.

EIB president Werner Hoyer stated: “I am pleased to sign this loan agreement today bringing further EIB support for this flagship project linking Europe with Asia.

“This facility further consolidates the position of EIB as Turkey’s key financial partner for the funding of large priority projects and the country’s efforts to re-balance its transport mode mix in favour of the railways.

“I have also been informed with pleasure that this project is now progressing well towards its finalisation. As the EU bank, we have been a solid partner of Turkey for some 50 years. Our presence here today underlines the Bank’s commitment to strengthening growth and innovation in Turkey.”