Erdoğan vows to continue with Kanal Istanbul

Erdoğan vows to continue with Kanal Istanbul

Erdoğan vows to continue with Kanal Istanbul

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President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has highlighted the ambition to build the assertive “Kanal Istanbul” project, which foresees the building of a giant canal on Istanbul’s European side to ease the aquatic traffic of the city’s busy Bosphorus Strait, “regardless of what anyone says.”

“Kanal Istanbul will be built. We will build Kanal Istanbul. Regardless of what anyone says, we will build it,” Erdoğan said in a speech at the Urban Transformation Congress in Istanbul on April 11.

 “Kanal Istanbul should make a difference through new buildings, befitting Istanbul’s fame, around the canal,” he said, adding that he had “told his friends” that high-rise architecture should not be allowed on aesthetic grounds. 

“The need for high-rise buildings could be accepted in the past, when there was both an excessive demand for central districts and not enough improved land. But it is now time to move to horizontal rather than vertical structuring,” Erdoğan said.

Kanal Istanbul was among the “crazy projects” that then-Prime Minister Erdoğan promised to realize ahead of the 2011 general election, pledging to build a 43-kilometer-long, 400-meter-wide canal connected with six bridges.

At the time he also said some 500,000 people would live in the area around the canal upon completion.