It takes only four minutes from Europe to Asia in the new high speed Marmaray train that runs under the Bosphorus Strait. It was officially opened on the 90th anniversary of the Turkish Republic. It took almost ten years to complete, resulted in a number of major anthropological finds, and is said to be earth-quake resistant (see attached article). The AKP ad for it below says the railway ties together Peking and London, providing yet another technological image (besides the emblematic Bosphorus Bridge posed behind the Ortakoy mosque) of Turkey’s modern role as “bridge” between east and west, as well as a reminder of its global (rather than just Middle Eastern) ambitions. A map of the new train route is here.