The project called "Green Road," which is planned to be completed by 2018 and will connect all plateaus in the Black Sea region from Samsun to Artvin, is expected to improve the potential of tourism in the region.
Ekrem Yüce, the president of the Eastern Black Sea Project's Regional Development Office (DOKAP), said the project will create tourism centers in 40 different locations in the region. "Facilities such as motels, hotels and grass skiing resorts will be constructed according to the geographical and natural features of the region," said Yüce. The Green Road Project will involve Samsun, Ordu, Giresun, Trabzon, Gümüşhane, Bayburt, Rize and Artvin and 40 plateaus within the borders of these eight provinces. "Although it is possible to travel from one plateau to another, this project will enable more tourist-friendly passages between these plateaus. We will not build highways but build roads that will commune with nature. We will not destroy the balance of the nature," Yüce informed. Highlighting their sensibility about the project, Yüce concluded by saying that they will work hard to complete the project and protect the natural balance although there are some negative comments and criticism about the roads that they will build. Yüce said the project is not designed to destroy the environment but makes use of it. "I can assure you that nature is not being destroyed even on the smallest scale while the project is being carried out. Each governor and municipal mayor is sensitive about this. We also care for the nature and show the same sensitivity. We never build tunnels or dig rocks. We only maintain roads and make them better," Yüce said.
The Green Road project also aims to make tourists stay longer in the highlands. "With this project, tourists can visit 40 highlands in a week. They can go to different highlands without going down to the coast," he said. Yüce further said the number of tourists would be five times more than the current rate when the project is completed.
At present, 150 million TL ($56.31) was spent for the project and 500 kilometers of the road has been completed. Yüce said the project would end in 2018. "We are working hard to finish it as we receive a sufficient budget from the ministry each year," he said. He said the local people will economically develop and trade activities will increase upon the completion of the project.