Pan-European network operator Interoute announced today that it has extended its network into Istanbul, Turkey. That's as far to the southeast as it can go without actually leaving Europe, at which time I'll have to find another adjective since Pan-European would no longer suffice. Strategically, Turkey was perhaps the most critical crossroads in the western world for millennia. But that has yet to translate into a similar level of influence when it comes to bandwidth and the internet, and diverse fiber connectivity to Europe has remained rather limited.
Nevertheless, Turkey has many western communications companies already firmly entrenched in its economy, and more and more networks have been extending fiber in its direction through Eastern Europe. I would not be surprised to see other major European fiber networks follow Interoute's lead before long, including Level 3 and perhaps Cogent.
Interoute's arrival in Istanbul is unsurprising to me, it was only a matter of time given their southward moves to Gibraltar, Malta, and to SEACOM at Marseilles. But is it an end station or might the company be looking at continuing to lay fiber on into the Middle East? There are still a few corners of Europe left for them to hook up, but not so many as there once were.