By Tuncay Bekar
A new passenger rail service between Turkey and Iran will begin operations on June 18, Minister of Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communications Ahmet Arslan said Wednesday.
"There is a freight shipment between Iran and Turkey. However, there was no passenger transportation. We will start passenger rail transportation -- that we had suspended for about three years -- between Tabriz [northwest of Iran] and Van [eastern province of Turkey] on June 18," Arslan said in eastern Kars province.
The minister said the first train will leave from Tabriz on June 18 and from Van on June 19.
He added the train will operate twice a week from Tabriz to Van, and vice versa.
"This is important for our country and for our region," Arslan said.