Founded in 1965, Yapi Merkezi's mission has been to undertake "construction projects that will serve humanity by creating happy environments". Since the 1980s, its activities have shifted more towards large-scale general contracts, particularly designing and constructing metros and tramways.
Yapi Merkezi's 1,600km of railways and 300 stations across 39 projects provide safe transport for more than two million passengers every day, across three continents. The company's railway journey began in 1975 as a consultant of Sogutlucesme Railway Viaduct and Station in Istanbul. Since 1975, it has undertaken numerous railway projects in Turkey, such as Istanbul LRTS, Istanbul Tramway, Eskisehir Tramway, Kayseri Tramway, Bursa LRTS, Taksim-Kabatas Funicular System and Ankara-Konya High-Speed Railway.
The latter, which covers 212km on double-tracks, represented a milestone in the country's rail network. Yapi Merkezi carried out every aspect of design, manufacturing, assembly and initial operation of the track, as well as handling electrification, signalling, telecommunication and the central control systems and training personnel. The project came into service in August 2011, after setting what was considered to be a world record for construction speed. It was also regarded as one of the most economic projects of its kind ever completed.
The solidarity among Yapi Merkezi's employees enables an unprecedented rate of work that is achieved not only in Turkey, but also abroad; approximately 2km of single trackway can be installed and thousands of supplies processed every day. Occasionally, daily track installation can be increased to as much as 3km.
Yapi Merkezi has added enterprises in the Gulf region to its list of successes. These include the Dubai Metro, Mecca and Madinah Stations, the Al Nariah Depot and Workshop in Saudi Arabia and Qatar's Doha Metro Gold Line.
Dubai Metro was the first urban train network in the Arabian peninsula and was built by a consortium consisting of Yapi Merkezi and Japan's Mitsubishi, Obayashi and Kajima. It was also the longest, fully automatic and driverless metro constructed under a single contract. There are 45 stations, ten of which are underground and its two lines have a total length of 75km. The system also includes three depot areas, and repair and maintenance workshops, and the same number of main power substations and multistorey car parks with a combined capacity for 12,000 vehicles.
The biggest prefabricated construction site in the world, the Dubai Metro project required precast pieces of viaduct to cover an area of 700,000m². Tunnels were bored to diameter of 9.5m and diaphragm wall techniques were used in underground stations.
Yapi Merkezi's first North African project was Caroubier Workshop in Algeria. The goal was to replace the existing freight train workshop in the nation's capital and build a new maintenance and depot area for a fleet of 64 new suburban trains. The project was completed in April 2011, within 27 months. The following year the company built Casablanca tramway in Morocco, while continuing work on Algeria's Bir Touta-Zeralda double-track railway line and Sidi Bel Abbes and Setif tramway projects.
The Casa tramway consists of 31km (19.3 miles) of double-track tramline, with 48 stops and is able to carry 250,000 passengers every day. It's the biggest urban rail system in North Africa, the second tramway in Morocco after Rabat and the first tramline in Casablanca.
Since its inauguration in December 2012, the tramway has made a massive contribution towards addressing the lack of urban mass transport in Casablanca, and has also created an equilibrium between the different quarters of the city by opening up the suburban areas and better connecting them to the centre.
This project is also leading Casablanca into a new phase of urban regeneration through works that include the rehabilitation of pavements with new borders, renewing the city's sewer network, installing a new public lighting infrastructure and modern street furniture, and the opening of five interchange stations that will integrate with the other public transport modes, as well as the planting of 4,000 palms and other shade-giving trees.
Yapi Merkezi has completed 21km (13 miles) of double-track tramway, a 61,000m2 depot area, 6.5km (four miles) of single-line tramway at the depot and 12 stops. As the main contractor, the firm carried out the mobilisation works and completed its contribution within two years, well ahead of the expected deadline.
The overall project was completed within 26 months and the Casa tramway was highly commended by the judges in the Worldwide Project of the Year Category at the 2012 Light Rail Awards (held in association with Tramways & Urban Transit).
The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is planning to implement several mega-projects in the upcoming years and Yapi Merkezi will contribute significantly to national economic growth by the constructing the Awash-Weldia/Hara Gabaya railway.
The single, 389km line will join up the northern and eastern economic and traffic corridors of Ethiopia, connecting the lines from Mekelle to Hara Gabaya and then Addis to Djibouti, which is the main transport route for passenger and freight traffic, and for moving imported and exported goods from the port. The main railway, which will have a significant economic impact by connecting the northern region of the country with its centre, will be approximately 389km long. Station lines are 18km and maintenance tracks are 40km, contributing to a total line length of approximately 447km.
Through its network of specialised companies, Yapi Merkezi has completed numerous successful national and international projects within the fields of transportation, rail systems, tunnels, bridges, viaducts, industrial and general service buildings, water collection and supply systems, restoration, strengthening and repair works, mass housing and city planning.
The Turkish company aims to continue its universal contribution to the civil construction sector by assuming and executing important duties in construction projects, both in its home nation and around the world. Yapi Merkezi, which has been included in Engineering News Record's annual Top 250 International Contractors List since 1998, takes great pride in its status as a trusted and admired global brand.