Istanbul Municipality holds workshop over Kanal Istanbul

Istanbul Municipality holds workshop over Kanal Istanbul

Istanbul Municipality holds workshop over Kanal Istanbul


A workshop on the Kanal İstanbul project - a mega-infrastructure project involving the construction of a 45-kilometer shipping canal in Istanbul parallel to the Bosphorus Strait, was held by Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality on Jan. 10

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, İYİ (Good) Party leader Meral Akşener, Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu, lawmakers, mayors and activists attended the workshop.

Kılıçdaroğlu noted that a project that is likely to cause big problems was discussed only on the imposition of one person and that the priorities of this project were also determined by one person, referring to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

“Istanbul faces a serious earthquake risk. Millions of people are at risk. Then why don’t we solve this problem? Why don’t we give priority to human life? We do not strive for the future of our children. Why do we leave them alone with the risk of earthquakes?” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

Suggesting to President Erdoğan to review the report sent by TÜBITAK (The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey) to the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization, Kılıçdaroğlu said the report concluded that Kanal Istanbul was a wrong project.

“The Kanal İstanbul project has not been focused on for nine years. It is impossible to understand why it was suddenly brought to us today. Has it been discussed with any scientist? No,” Akşener, leader of the İYİ Party, said in her speech.

Akşener said that the project wouldn’t provide a significant gain to Turkey and wouldn’t make the residents of Istanbul comfortable.

Speaking at the workshop, İstanbul Mayor İmamoğlu said that Kanal İstanbul is a project that will change the geography of the city and seriously affect all dimensions of natural life.

“Those who bring this project to the agenda have to explain and to convince the society. Kanal İstanbul is a very big and very risky surgery that no one will ever say yes unless they have to,” İmamoğlu said.

“We all have to know everything and learn every detail about the risks of this great surgery imposed on Istanbul. We’ll learn first. Then we all decide together,” he added.

“All this can occur through a healthy learning and thinking process. This workshop aims to scientifically reveal all the risks of the knife to be immersed in the bosom of Istanbul,” he said.

With Kanal Istanbul, the government is aiming at opening an artificial seaway between the Black Sea and the Marmara Sea to mitigate the oil tanker traffic through the Bosphorus as well as constructing new earthquake-resistant residential areas along the channel.

Environmentalists have voiced serious concerns about the artificial channel by arguing that the seaway will damage underground water resources of Istanbul and will threaten the Marmara Sea along with other social and urbanization risks.