>> It's billed as the world's largest airport and is just the latest mega project spearheaded by Turkey's president. Tayyip Ergodan touching down in the new $11.7 billion airport outside Istanbul. It officially opened Monday. Delays mean it won't be fully operational until January. A setback for authorities hailing this is the centerpiece of the construction boom.
The long drove breakneck economic growth under Erdogan's 15 year old rule. The transport hub is also being dubbed by criticism. Concerns over its environmental impact and labor conditions. Construction workers on strike, protesting unpaid wages and safety standards. Last month, hundreds were detained by police. Over 30 are still behind bars, a move condemned by human rights watch.
Reuters correspondent Ali Kucukgocmen is covering the story from Istanbul.>> Workers that we've spoken to from the third airport have said that they've experienced highly inadequate work safety and housing conditions at the airport. Some have cited bed bug infestations at the dormitories, others have said that they aren't given clean sheets, others are unhappy about the food they're given and some others say that work, regular work safety procedure aren't being followed at the construction.
>> In February the Labor Ministry said 27 workers had died since construction started in 2015. Union leaders say the real number is much higher. Speaking at a reopening ceremony, Erdogan called the airport an offering to the world. It's already able to handle 90 million passengers a year and could claim the world's biggest title, if it's expanded to 200 million as planned.
One controversy was put to rest, Erdogan calling the new facility Istanbul Airport, ending months of speculation that he might name it after himself.