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Turkey's leg of the Silk Road could be smoother

Turkish officials are playing up the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway as a segment of the new Silk Road linking Beijing to London, but there are many bumps yet to come along the way.

Turkish politicians and the media tend to quote staggering numbers when discussing strategic equations, as they are doing now regarding the BTK railway project connecting Baku in Azerbaijan, Tblisi in Georgia and Kars in Turkey. The 527-mile leg contributes to China's work in progress, the Silk Road route to connect Europe and Asia.

The BTK, which has been in the works since 1993, was finally inaugurated Oct. 30 in the new Port of Baku at Alat, actually 55 miles from Baku. The presidents or prime ministers of Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Georgia attended the ceremony. No doubt, this is not a project to ignore. It may offer new economic opportunities to the countries using it.

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