Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, along with Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, Transport Minister Binali Yıldırım and other ministers and officials attended a ceremony held for the occasion.
At the ceremony, President Erdoğan criticized environmentalists who opposed the project due to concerns it would destroy the city's northern forests.
“Projects like this can only be realized by those who think big” Erdoğan said. “They said, ‘It cannot be done,' they even came here to protest and here we are” he said at the ceremony held on the bridge.
Transport Minister Yıldırım praised the project.
“Today is a historic day” Yıldırım said. “This is the widest suspension bridge of the world that has a railway, and no other bridge in the world has been completed in less than three years” he added, noting that unlike the first two bridges over the Bosporus, the main contractor for the third bridge was a Turkish company.
The bridge will be ready to open along with its connecting roads by the end of August, said Yıldırım.
Davutoğlu thanked Erdoğan and all ministers who contributed to the project, as well as the workers and engineers who built the bridge. “This is not only a bridge that brings together Europe and Asia” said Davutoğlu.
“It is a bridge that will bring together hearts, too, since many engineers and workers behind this project want to have their weddings on this bridge.”