Kanal Istanbul gets ministry nod on environment
The Environment and Urbanization Ministry on Jan. 17 approved the report on environmental impact of Turkey's planned megaproject, Kanal Istanbul, an official 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.
The 45-kilometer canal, which planned to be built west of the city center on the European side of Istanbul province, is projected to have a capacity of 160 vessel transits a day.
Environment and Urbanization Minister Murat Kurum said the megaproject got the approval of the ministry.
Previously, Kurum stressed that the ministry approached the air, water, forests, soil, green areas, lakes, sea and ecological balance of Istanbul with a strategy to protect the environment and nature.
During the process of preparing the report, municipalities, academicians, environmental specialists, institutions and NGOs had been present at the meetings.
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.