Kanal Istanbul is a waterway project designed to extend from the Black Sea to the Marmara Sea on the European side of Istanbul. Although its counterparts have been suggested in the past, the Kanal Istanbul project was announced by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2011. The first tender for the project was held on March 26, 2020.
Projects similar to Kanal Istanbul
The history of the alternative waterway project to the Bosphorus dates back to the Roman Empire. In the correspondence between Bitini Governor Plinius and Emperor Trajan, Sakarya River Transport Project was mentioned for the first time.
The idea of connecting the Black Sea and Marmara with an artificial strait has come up 16 times since the 6th century. One of the three major projects planned by the Ottoman Empire in the mid-1500s was to connect the Sakarya River and Sapanca Lake to the Black Sea and Marmara. It came to the fore in 3 during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent. Although the two great architects of the period, Mimar Sinan and Nicola Parisi, started preparations, the realization of this project was canceled due to the wars.
A channel project in the west of Istanbul was first proposed in an article published in TÜBİTAK's Science and Technical magazine in August 1990. The title of the article written by Yüksel Önem, the consultant of the Ministry of Energy of the period, was “I Think of the Istanbul Channel”. Starting from Büyükçekmece Lake and passing through the west of Terkos Lake, Istanbul Canal is designed as 47 km long, 100 m wide on the water surface and 25 m deep. In 1994, Bülent Ecevit proposed opening a channel on the European side of Istanbul between the Black Sea and Marmara, and the project was included in the DSP's election brochures with the name "The Canal Project of the Bosphorus and DSP".
For the first time, on September 23, 2010, the content of the project was mentioned by Hıncal Uluç in his article titled “It is a“ Crazy ”project from the Prime Minister ..”. In 2011, as the prime minister of the time, Recep Tayyip Erdogan's statement, was reflected in the press as a “crazy project”, but the name, content and location of the project were kept secret for a long time. At the press conference held at the Haliç Congress Center in Sütlüce on April 27, 2011, basic information about the project was announced.
The features of Kanal Istanbul Project
According to the statements, Kanal Istanbul, officially, will be launched on the European Side of the city. An artificial waterway will be opened between the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara in order to ease the traffic of the ship in the Bosporus, which is currently an alternative gateway between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. At the point where the canal meets the Sea of Marmara, one of the two new cities planned to be established by 2023 will be established. The length of the channel is 40-45 km; its width will be 145-150 m at the surface and approximately 125 m at the base. The depth of the water will be 25 m. With this channel, the Bosphorus will be closed to tanker traffic completely, two new peninsulas and a new island will be created in Istanbul.
Kanal İstanbul constitutes 453 million square meters of the “New City” planned to be established on 30 million square meters. Other areas are divided into airports with 78 million square meters, Ispartakule and Bahçeşehir with 33 million square meters, roads with 108 million square meters, zoning parcels with 167 million square meters and 37 million square meters in common green areas.
The project will run for two years. The removed lands will be used in the construction of a large airport and port, and will be used to fill the quarries and closed mines. The cost of the project can be more than 10 billion dollars.
The route of the project was announced on January 15, 2018. It has been announced to the public that the project will pass through Küçükçekmece Lake, Sazlısu Dam and Terkos Dam routes.
The Cost of Kanal Istanbul
The total cost of the project has been announced as 75 billion TL. When investments such as bridges and airports are taken into account, the total cost is estimated to be 118 billion TL.
Kanal İstanbul's Financing
Inanlar Construction Chairman Serdar Inan stated that the project is a project that can finance itself and said, “It is a project that can bring a few hundred billion dollars. We can even do much more beautiful than the current throat. ” he spoke. Yaşar Aşçıoğlu, Chairman of Aşçıoğlu İnşaat, stated that he thinks the project will have zero cost to the state. Aşçıoğlu said, “Prime Minister 'We will generally try to pass through places where state lands are dense.' said. This meets and passes the cost of the second throat. The investment will shift there. The property of the state will be valued. ” said.
When the project turned out to be an alternative channel to the Bosphorus, discussions began among legal professionals about the legal status of the channel. It was started to discuss whether the channel would create a situation contrary to the Montreux Straits Convention.
With the Montreux contract, the United States could enter the Black Sea only with limited tonnages, loads, weapons and for a limited time. Whether or not this channel planned to be included in the Montreux contract and its place in the New Big Game was also a topic of discussion.
Many jurists have expressed their opinion that the contract concluded will be evaluated in terms of roads or roads connecting the two seas, and that it will not provide a lot of alternatives other than being a good alternative for dangerous cargo crossing.