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Turkish PM Erdoğan's 'crazy project' in 10 questions

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News | 4/27/2011 12:00:00 AM |

All there is to know about Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's 'Crazy Project' for Istanbul, answered in 10 questions.

What is the project called?

Kanal Istanbul (Istanbul Canal)

What are the proposed dimensions for the project?

Length: 45 to 50 kilometers

Depth: 25 meters

Width: 145 to 150 meters

Base Width: 120 meters

What are the specifications relating to transportation?

Ships of any size will be able to pass through the channel.

When will the project be completed?

Preliminary studies will take two years, during which time some alterations will be made to the project itself. There is no fixed date for completion, but it is expected to take some eight to 10 years after the preliminary studies. The target completion year is 2023.

What is the cost?

Undetermined. Estimates, however, run around $10 billion.

How will Istanbul’s geographic qualities be changed?

The city will be split by two waterways, creating two peninsulas and one island. Currently Istanbul is made up of two peninsulas.

How will transportation be affected?

There will be no interruptions to land or sea traffic. Connecting roads to the third bridge planned for over the Bosphorus Strait will also pass over the new canal.

What will happen to the billions of tons of earth that will be dug out during construction work?

It will be used to build a major airport and a seaport. Unused portions will be sent to the country’s mines.

What is the purpose?

The new canal will eliminate around $1.4 billion in annual costs accrued by ships waiting to pass through the congested Bosphorus Strait. Another major aim is to prevent tanker accidents, but the canal will still pass through the middle of Istanbul.

Will there be any expropriation of land?

Treasury land will provide the bulk of the territory for the project, but there will be some expropriation of privately owned land.

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