Is the crazy project the end of Istanbul?
What we know as the “crazy project,” which has been criticized as a death sentence for the Marmara Sea, has been on the agenda since 2011.
Channel Istanbul was included in the omnibus law accepted a few days ago in parliament’s budget plan commission.
The fact that such a huge project is being included in an omnibus law was questioned by the opposition’s Istanbul deputies, perhaps for the first time, in a very serious manner.
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Istanbul deputy Gülay Yedekçi criticized that Channel Istanbul was brought directly to the agenda of the budget plan commission without being debated in parliament’s environment or urbanization commissions.
“We will not let Channel Istanbul be constructed,” she said in a press conference.
One wished Channel Istanbul did not become an issue of contention between the government and the opposition since, as it has been voiced many times by several science people like Prof. Emin Özsoy or Prof. Cemal Saydam, it can bring about the end of the Marmara Sea or Istanbul.
As I have written before, the Marmara Sea has a system that is based on a very sensitive balance. The top 25 meters is from the Black Sea and the rest below is salted by the Mediterranean. It has two currents that never mingle.
It is this special balance which makes the fish of the Bosphorus Strait so incomparably delicious.
Once Channel Istanbul is introduced, this exceptional balance of the Marmara Sea will be disrupted.
I recall very vividly that Prof. Saydam had said, “Channel Istanbul will be the end of Istanbul,” in a meeting held a couple of years ago. The destruction of Istanbul and its environment is only one side of the medallion in the “crazy project,” which is said to cost more than $10 billion.
On the other side of the medallion is the problem of realizing such a huge investment in a city whose population has reached 16 million, as was voiced by the deputies speaking at the budget plan commission.
The Transportation, Maritime and Communication Ministry, headed by Binali Yıldırım, is among the ministries which makes the highest investments in projects, and 70 percent of these investments are made in Istanbul.
What is the purpose of realizing huge projects in Istanbul, like the third airport and third bridge, instead of Anatolia other than rent?
If all investment were to be made to Istanbul, how are you going to make Anatolian cities attractive to business circles?
How will you attract investments there?
Even before the final location of Channel Istanbul was determined, the real estate sector started to use the project in its publicity and the prices of estates started sky rocketing.
Yıldırım had advised people not to rush, as they “might be disappointed.”
If the government rushes to squeeze a project that needs to be analyzed by scientists and civil society representatives into an omnibus law, then it is only natural for citizens to rush for it too.