Kanal Istanbul project now at stage of implementation: Erdoğan
The Kanal Istanbul project has been “debated entirely” but is now at the stage of implementation, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Oct. 8.
Speaking at the 12th Transportation and Communication Week at Atatürk Airport in Istanbul, Erdoğan said the Bosphorus’s inability to carry the increasing freight traffic led them to seek alternatives.
Noting that laying the foundation of the Sazlıdere Bridge is the first concrete step of the project, Erdoğan said, “We will implement other works within the scope of the project plan. We will start the excavation of the canal according to the plan.”
“When we look at where we have come from with these investments, which are the basic infrastructure of development, we see that we have come a long way indeed. Most of the titles that we expressed yesterday as a vision and a goal are now in front of us as completed projects, 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, one of the world’s busiest maritime passages.
The 45-kilometer canal to be developed on the west of the city center on the European side of the city is proposed to have a capacity of 160 vessel transits a day.
Approving the report on the environmental impact of the mega project, the Environment and Urbanization Ministry in January this year gave its nod to Kanal Istanbul. The Kanal Istanbul project is estimated to cost some 75 billion Turkish Liras (around $8.8 billion).
The president noted that Turkey’s railway industry has improved thanks to the government’s investments, such as for developing an indigenous electric train set and on designing high-speed trains.
“We are about to come to the point where we will produce metros, suburban and tramway,” he noted.
Pointing to the country’s advantageous geographical location, the president said Turkey’s Istanbul Airport, which was inaugurated less than three years ago, ranks second among the world’s best international airports.
Istanbul Airport is the Europe’s busiest airport, he said, adding the airport becomes one of the symbols of Turkey’s great vision.