May 1, 2011
Here is another positive surprise about Turkey: Kanal Istanbul (Channel Istanbul), which is an artificial maritime traffic that will (fully?) replace the current Bosphorus.
At the end of the short article below I suggest a few very interesting useful comments.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Wednesday announced a massive project to construct a new water passage through western Istanbul province, broadcaster CNNTürk reported.
The new passage, named “Channel Istanbul,” is planned to be built on the outskirts of the European side of the city and will connect the Black Sea to the Marmara Sea and is planned to be 45-50 km long, the prime minister said, speaking at a conference in Istanbul.
The project is aimed at reducing the amount of transit vessels passing through Istanbul’s Bosphorus to zero, Erdoğan said.
Erdoğan did not mention the exact location of the channel or how much it might cost, but said, “There will be no problems financing it.”
Preliminary studies of the project will take two years, Erdoğan added.
In 2008 Erdoğan announced he had a “crazy project” in mind for Istanbul and that he would unveil it when it was ready.
A commentator on the Hürriyet Daily News whose name is Nathan commented:
As far as I know shipping passage through the Bosphorus has been free since the 30’s. Does this mean if cargo ships and tankers are refused passage through the Bosphorus and can only use Channel Istanbul that the government finally will be able to charge them for passage legally? The Bosphorus has a daily passage of over 200 ships a day(?) and if they all get charged? “There will be no problems financing it.” I bet!
This is an example how ambitious our goverment is, beautifull plan which will avoid big fuel tankers from shipping through the Bosporus strait. So the Bosporus strait will be safer and more open for recreation and other purposes. Respect for Erdogan.
@nathan – yes! exactly what i thought. as far as i know, Turkey controls the maritime traffic but there is no tariff to use the Bosphorus, in a way it is still considered an international waterway. Having a canal means $ ! – in that sense. yes, it will certainly pay for itself quickly. Definitely brilliant!
And he added:
@ Mariner, i disagree. There are so many vessels always in waiting to go through. They are anchored for days… you can see them when you take the Sea Bus. I’m not an AK supporter, but i support this. The sea traffic for those of us who commute will be MUCH better and the crap people dump (and they do) as they go through will be more easily cleaned up in a channel. Besides that, the revenue this will reap, simply put… awesome and a sure bet forever i guess. cool idea, i support this.
Channel Istanbul is a masterstroke. Well done Turkey!
I’m looking forward to being surprised again.
PS. I watched Mehmet Ali Birand’s TV program “32nd day”, in which Channel Istanbul was dealt with.
An expert said that 650 000 trees will be cut because of that project. Well that’s a serious negative side which disturbs me. However let’s remind that thanks to Channel Istanbul there will be no risk of a catastrophic oïl accident on the Bosphorus anymore. Thus the Bosphorus (as well as a part of the economy of Istanbul) will be saved for good (by the way, it is said that project will create 10 000 jobs).
That expert also said that instead of building that channel, Turkey ought to reinforce the buildings and houses of Istanbul in order to be prepared to the earthquakes that are said to occur. He is absolutely right. I exactly thought the same a few days ago. But can’t Turkey both build that channel and reinforce the buildings of Istanbul?
PPS. Actually that huge project was Bülent Ecevit’s project (EurActiv Turkey deals with that – article in Turkish).cem