A press conference was held on 1 January 100.000 by TMMOB Istanbul Provincial Coordination Board on 20 / 2020 Istanbul Environment Plan Change and Kanal Istanbul EIA positive decision.
Cevahir Efe Akçelik, Secretary of the TMMOB Istanbul Provincial Coordination Board at the press conference held at the Istanbul Metropolitan Branch of the Chamber of Architects, Mücella Yapıcı, Secretary of the EIA Advisory Board of the Istanbul Metropolitan Branch of the Chamber of Architects, Prof. Dr. Dr. Haluk Gercek, Bahçeşehir University Turkish Straits Application and Research Center Director Saim Oğuzülgen took part.
Press release from TMMOB is as follows; “On 17.01.2020, the Environmental Impact Assessment Report of the Kanal Istanbul Project was announced to the public by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization, where a“ EIA Positive ”decision was made.
The Canal Istanbul project has been studied by many science and professional people since the day it came to the agenda, and the environmental and social dimension that will occur in case of the construction of the channel has been revealed in all its details. As a result of the work done, it has repeatedly warned universities, professional chambers, non-governmental organizations and public administrators; On the other hand, the managers neither included the public in the planning phase of this project nor heeded the warnings. This project, which has been imposed on the people of Istanbul from the top, will stretch from Marmara to the Black Sea, especially from Istanbul, and will affect the whole geography in an irreparable way, create a split between ecosystems and upset a natural balance that has been formed in thousands of years. This is what the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization finds “Positive”.
The situation that the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization finds positive; While putting a city like a world heritage city into an uninhabitable city by putting it under the pressure of a population, damaging the cultural heritage of the city, turning the city into a huge construction site, leaving the city to the initiative of earthmoving trucks, while the city was revealed with the scientific facts that the big Istanbul earthquake is approaching. it is irresponsible to make it more fragile instead of preparing it.
The real meaning of this project, which the Ministry calls 'Saving the Bosphorus', is to tighten the Bosphorus of the Marmara Sea. Turkey's 'asthma' sea of Marmara, any intervention that causes the deterioration of Marmara likely to affect the oxygen balance in a format that will not turn back. The realization of this possibility depends on the cotton thread and is not a problem that can be overcome by adhering to the figures, which is theoretically calculated as predicted in the EIA report, moreover miscalculated.
Istanbulchun statistical data refutes the claim that the channel was built to reduce the risk of ship traffic and accidents in the Bosphorus. On the contrary, due to the increase in ship sizes and the transportation of resources such as oil / natural gas through pipelines, ship traffic decreases every year and the risk of accident in the throat decreases with the measures taken. It is the duty of the authorities to ensure the security of the Bosphorus, this is not a project to cover a risk such as Kanal Istanbul with a risk. This artificial waterway carries more accident risks than the Bosphorus.
29% of the city's total water accumulation capacity is located on the canal route. The disappearance of these resources corresponds to the water needs of 6 million people. Due to the canal route on the important water basins of Istanbul, the basin areas will suffer greatly and the Sazlıdere dam, which provides drinking water to Istanbul, will be completely emptied. The possibility of salinity of Terkos Lake still stands before us as a great risk. The part of Küçükçekmece Lake up to Sazlıdere Dam Lake forms wetland and marshy areas. The swamp area formed by the tides of the lake is a resting and breeding zone on the migration route of the birds. In natural structure synthesis for all environmental plans produced for Istanbul; This area has been defined as the first and second degree critical soil and resource areas in terms of maintaining the water cycle, critical ecological systems whose functions that must be protected absolutely must not be disrupted. Due to the creek and its natural topography, the region is very important groundwater and a rainwater collection basin and Istanbul's most important ecological corridor.
Leaving Istanbul without water at a time when global climate change is starting to show the effect of burning is quite a daring and wrong choice in terms of natural reality. It is a great mistake to deprive a city that includes most of the population and production, such as Istanbul, from water assets, and to think that losses can be eliminated by supplying water from the basins of other provinces. With unplanned construction and unplanned project planning, Istanbul's water assets are almost exhausted. Today, Istanbul is a city that has to supply 70% of its drinking water from other provinces. The city's own water assets are being destroyed every day, and it is believed that the water problem of Istanbul will be solved by moving water from other valleys. This situation creates pressure in other watersheds and systematically disrupts the balance of the ecosystem.
In the 2009 IMM Istanbul Environmental Order Report, which was previously approved by the Ministry, the possible effects of global climate change were included in the plan, and the fact that the precipitation regime and drought and clean drinking water supply will be difficult and the need for water will increase. By the year 2020, all these evaluations were ignored and the people of Istanbul were put in great danger. Managers need to question not only ecology but also historical information: In the history, every city was built according to its distance to water assets. You cannot manage a city and country without water.
Due to the eclectic planning of Istanbul's high-scale planning, it prevents the cumulative (folded) effect of the projects planned to be carried out in the city. Approaching the Kanal Istanbul project as if it were a stand-alone project and performing the impact assessments of the project only from this project is a non-scientific method that lacks a holistic perspective. The 3rd Airport, 3rd Bridge and Canal Istanbul project, which was announced to the public years ago with the name "Crazy Projects", are integrated projects. With all these projects, Istanbul is under the influence of a lot of negative environmental burden as it can carry the north. Istanbul has been removed from being a livable city and has been turned into a game and rent area of global and pro-capital, which sees its short-term political and economic interests above all kinds of vital value.
The effects of the project are not only limited to natural areas, but also have a sociological effect as understood from the real estate advertisements that preceded the project itself. People living on the canal route, which will be opened for construction, will be displaced, and those who have the privilege to live in “Canal View” houses will be brought to their places. With the channel, the north of Istanbul will be under an additional population density and the city will cease to be manageable.
In the project's EIA report, the environmental and social impact area of the project is almost limited to the start and end point of the channel. However, this channel; it has the potential to demolish the whole of Istanbul and the regions around the two seas connected by the canal with a domino effect.
Just not all the countries bordering the Black Sea in Turkey's interests to be subjected to strategic assessment of this project is also a matter of debate. As they will not force any ships to pass through the channel, the specified cost of the project is also unrealistic. Public resources will be used unnecessarily with this project and, above all, the people of Istanbul will pay for this with their living spaces.
TMMOB and its affiliated rooms have all scientific and technical infrastructure to prove that this project should not be done. However, in the period since the project was announced; had no realistic scientific and technical justification and explanation to discuss. Therefore, the Kanal Istanbul project will be moved to the judiciary.
Call for the Great Istanbul Citizen Case
It is our call to all Istanbul residents who object to the project: You have the right to sue the Kanal Istanbul Project until February 17, 2020. TMMOB is ready to offer all the scientific and technical infrastructure that will be the reason for the case. Bridal thousands / hundreds of thousands of people to one of these cases turn it into the biggest case in the history of Turkey, we have taken note of this civic responsibility for Istanbul düşelim date. There is no other Istanbul!