Turkey’s Environmental Minister Murat Kurum recently confirmed that the country has approved development plans for a huge canal on the edge of Istanbul, called the Kanal Istanbul.

Kanal Istanbul would increase capacity for shipping to and from the Black Sea, connecting it to the Marmara Sea in the south of Istanbul. The project is estimated to cost around 75 billion lire ($9.2 billion).

Environment Minister Murat Kurum tweeted, “We have approved the Kanal Istanbul Project development plans and put them out for public consultation. We will rapidly take steps to enrich our country and sacred city with Kanal Istanbul.”

It is a brainchild of the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who announced the Kanal Istanbul project in 2011. But, the project has received widespread backlash from professional organizations and NGOs because the canal poses a severe risk for the large-scale earthquake expected in Istanbul, damaging the city’s very last forested areas in the developmental process. There’s also concern that marine life in the Marmara Sea would stand affected.

On completion, the total length of the canal would be about 25 nm, making it the nation’s largest-ever infrastructure project. As designed, it will be able to accommodate 160 vessel transits per day -roughly identical to the current volume of traffic handled through the Bosphorus Strait.

For financing the project, Turkey’s Transportation and Infrastructure Ministry will undertake financial liability of companies involved in the same.

Istanbul Canal would bisect the current European side of Istanbul and thus form an island between Asia and Europe. In the process, it would bypass the current Bosporus, creating an alternative to Bosphorus Strait, one of the most vital shipping lanes.

Posted in General by Ankur Kundu on Apr 28, 2021 at 08:16.