Turkey's president and prime minister will attend today's ceremony, along with dignitaries from Bahrain, Bosnia- Herzegovina, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Serbia, Pakistan, Georgia and northern Cyprus.
Erdogan later traveled over the bridge in a heavily guarded bus. The length of the bridge is 2,164 meters.
ISTANBUL (AP) - Turkey opened one of the world's largest bridges Friday created to allow traffic to cross the Bosphorus Strait between Europe and Asia and ease congestion in Istanbul. At 322 meters (1,056 feet), officials say the bridge's 322-meter (1,056-foot) towers are also the tallest in the world. Its span of 1408 metres (4,619 feet) is the longest in the world between the supporting pylons.
The fee for using the bridge will amount to $3.
The third bridge to span the Bosphorus, it will carry eight lanes of traffic and two railway lines. "This bridge will not only service Istanbul, this is a bridge connecting Europe and Asia, it is the continuation of the great Silk Road", he said.
Despite the trauma of the coup, Erdogan hopes the bridge will be just one of many of his self-proclaimed "crazy projects" to open in Istanbul in the next years.
"The bridge will relieve traffic in Istanbul by 30 percent and relieve pressure on the two other bridges", Transport Minister Ahmet Arslan told AFP.
The Yavuz Sultan Selim bridge, built above the Bosphorus, was named after 16th century Ottoman Sultan Selim I, whose rule marked the expansion of the burgeoning world power in the Middle East. As the ruler was also known for the massacre of Alevi Muslims.
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