Two cities to be built on Kanal Istanbul’s banks, Erdoğan says
“Whether they want it or not, we will build Kanal Istanbul. There are more than 50 such channels in the world, all these channels are made according to a need,” he said on Dec. 30, speaking at the 2019 awards ceremony of the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) and the Turkish Academy of Sciences (TÜBA).
“We will establish two modern cities while making Kanal Istanbul,” he said, noting that the government will rely on its national budget or make a build-operate-transfer agreement.
The 45-kilometer (28-mile) canal, which will be built west of the city center on the European side of Istanbul province, is to boost naval capacity to 160 vessels a day.
Known as the “crazy project,” Kanal Istanbul, a plan to connect the Marmara Sea and the Black Sea with a Bosphorus-like artificial canal in the north of the megacity, has been on the government’s agenda since 2011.
An 80-million-euro contribution that Turkey will pay the EU in 2020 will be used for Turkey’s scientists, Erdoğan also said.
He noted that “try-build technology workshops” will be established in 81 provinces in 2020.
The president also said Turkey is determined to become a country that produces new technologies.
“We have gotten down to carrying our success story in the defense industry to civil areas. We will no longer be a mere market for new technologies. We are determined to become a country that produces new technologies and exports them to the entire world,” he said.
“We have to direct our production to high value-added products. We want to make our country a center of attraction for all scientists in the world,” he stated.
Recalling that a scientific research camp was established in the Arctic, which also “waves the flag of Turkey,” Erdoğan said: “Our ultimate goal is not to be an observer country within the framework of Antarctic agreements, but to become one of the countries that have a say about the future of the continent.”