Istanbul harbor project for Ro-Ro vessels draws angry reaction

Istanbul harbor project for Ro-Ro vessels draws angry reaction

Istanbul harbor project for Ro-Ro vessels draws angry reaction A harbor planned to be constructed for roll-on, roll-off (Ro-Ro) vessels in western Istanbul, aiming to carry up to 3,500 carrier trucks per day, will have negative urban and environmental impacts, the head of a civil organization dealing with urban affairs in Istanbul’s Beylikdüzü district has told the Radikal news website. 

The harbor, which is planned to be built in Beylikdüzü’s Ambarlı neighborhood, would make the traffic flow in the direction of Beylikdüzü even slower, while also leading to higher polluting gas emissions as carrier trucks emit 150 times more gas than cars, Beylikdüzü Town Council Head Necla Türkoğlu said, calling on all residents in and around the area to oppose the project developed for trucks heading from the European to the Asian side of Istanbul.

Türkoğlu said the harbor would have to be enlarged even further as two shipping routes were expected to be used: One going west from Ambarlı to Bandırma, a district in the western province of Balıkesir; and the other going east on the Marmara Sea.

Stressing the negative environmental effects of the planned harbor and warning of the negative health consequences of the project, Türkoğlu said a large Ro-Ro vessel emits as much gas as 50 million cars could emit in a year.

She also claimed that the planned harbor would not even have any positive impact on passenger transport in the region, saying the high volume of carrier trucks would only make Beylikdüzü “inaccessible.”

“There are 65,000 carrier trucks owned by different freight shipping companies that demand marine transportation, as stated in the project’s Environmental Impact Assessment [ÇED] report,” Türkoğlu said. 

Any construction project should comply with the ÇED procedure as a precondition of starting work, according to Turkey’s Construction Law.   

According to the ÇED report of the habor project, 162,000 square meters of land will be reserved for construction of the 370,000-square-meter harbor.

Unlike most ÇED reports - which are supposed to state both the positive and negative environmental impacts of planned construction projects, as well as measures to be taken to make any project environment-friendly - the ÇED report of the Ambarlı Harbor project largely emphasizes the economic advantages of the project if implemented.

The Environment and Urbanization Ministry is due to hold a meeting on Aug. 20 to inform citizens about the project and its possible effects.