During the rising era of Ottoman Empire a sufficient road network for the time was developed and it was used for a long time. However, in the last decades of the Empire highway organization which was semi military and sufficient until that time, began to ignore the roads and they remained neglected.
The Republic of Turkey founded in 1923 turned over 18 350 km. road network, 4 000 km. of which was in good condition.
In the first years of the Republic, railway construction which was accepted as the most contemporary technology in that era, was important for the transportation sector. However, it was understood that just railway wasn’t sufficient and highway was needed for the transportation system, so Paved Ways and Bridges Presidency under the body of the Ministry of Public Works was founded in 1929 and highway construction works gained momentum with the road law in force.
After the World War II a new leap for the Highways was required due to the depression caused by long war period and world economic crises.
The leap for highways was needed significantly in the year 1948. Until then the target was to construct 10 cm longer road disregarding the maintenance works. After 1948 it was underlined that road construction wasn’t the only consideration, continuos maintenance of the existing roads was also a serious matter. It also indicated passing to mechanized work period. Furthermore, the history of roads during the Republic period may be categorized as the period based on human power and digging implements before 1948 and Mechanized Work Period after 1948.
When the mechanized work period started in the construction of highways, the implementation of a fast and cheap system initiated gradually on the state highways and provincial roads. Besides, the inventory of current roads was prepared and then a road network to meet the transportation need of Turkey was determined. Moreover, another emphasized matter was to realize those works within the framework of specific plans and programs fixed.
With the requirement of directing all this activities by a dynamic organization with contemporary methods, General Directorate of Highways (KGM) was founded on March 1st, 1950. Thus with the new highways policy, divisions under the body of General Directorate of Highways were formed throughout the country. Necessary construction and maintenance equipment was provided to execute the mechanized work and personnel training was given priority. Planning, survey and design, construction and maintenance works started.