Location of Istanbul Canal Source of the Photo: Wikipedia.org

On June 26, 2021, Turkey’s President ERDOGAN took the first step in the construction of a ship canal skirting Istanbul. The Turkish government is convicted that it will ease the marine traffic in the Bosporus Strait.

In a bridge ground-breaking ceremony in Sazlidere, in the west of Istanbul, President ERDOGAN said: “Today we are opening a new page in the history of Turkey’s development”. “We see Canal Istanbul as a project to save the future of Istanbul … to ensure the safety of life and property of Istanbul’s Bosphorus and the citizens around it,” he said.

The Turkish government has said that the project will ease ship traffic and reduce the risk of accidents in the Bosphorus Strait. The Bosphorus Strait links the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea and is one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.

ERDOGAN said that is estimated to cost $15bn and is expected to be finalized within 6 years.

The marine traffic has risen 72 % in the Bosphorus since 2005 said Mustafa ILICALI, a professor on transportation and former Member of Parliament. “Tankers pose accidents in the narrow strait. Pending vessels pollute the sea and cause emission” he added.

The first structure of the project, the eight-lane, 840-meter highway bridge, will connect to the North Marmara Expressway which also connects other recent infrastructure projects, a new airport, and a third bridge on the Bosphorus.

Ekrem IMAMOGLU the mayor of Istanbul that represents the main opposition party the Republican People’s Party, calls Saturday’s ceremony an “illusion” linked to the highway projects rather than the canal. “Building a bridge here has nothing to do with the canal project. It’s something to do with the road junction” he said Thursday at a press conference in Sazlidere.

 This article was edited using the data from Aljazeera.com, Usnews.com, Fr24news.com, and Algulf.net.


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