İBB President Ekrem İmamoğlu explained the facts about the "Concrete Channel" foundation, which is claimed to be laid next Saturday, on the shore of the Sazlıdere Dam, where the construction site is set up. Saying, "Now I will start to tell you about an illusion," İmamoğlu said, "Although it is called 'the canal project groundbreaking ceremony', this groundbreaking ceremony, according to the information available from open sources, was held between the TEM Hasdal Junction and Nakkaş Junction of the Northern Marmara Highway of the Northern Marmara Highway It is observed that there is a Highway Connection Road project. Saying 'I have laid the foundation of a canal' by erecting the feet of a much pre-planned bridge here is only an effort to save the day politically. This bridge would have been built even if there was no strange agenda called Kanal Istanbul on Turkey's agenda today. This is the illusion," he said.
Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IMM) Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu made a press statement at the Sazlıdere Dam, where it is claimed that the foundation of the Concrete Channel will be laid. Emphasizing that the Sazlıdere field is one of the most important water basins and agricultural areas of Istanbul, İmamoğlu said, “The Sazlıdere Dam provides approximately 10 percent of Istanbul's water needs. This region is both a water reservoir and agricultural land of Istanbul, which has become concrete and population growth has accelerated; in other words, everything about Istanbul”. He added, “We are gathered here today to answer the question, 'What will actually happen on June 26?'. We came together to reveal an illusion," İmamoğlu said, adding:
“THE PEOPLE CHOOSE ME TO STAND AGAINST THE CONCRETE CANAL”
“I would like to remind you that yesterday, the 23rd, was the 2nd anniversary of the June elections. In other words, we have left behind the second year of the unfair and unlawful cancellation of the election. Moreover, despite the fact that 2 years have passed, I underline that not even a single person has been sentenced in Turkish courts regarding the election called 'Cheating' and 'Stealing'. Why did I feel the need to remind you of this? Because while I was running my campaign in the Istanbul elections, I told our citizens that I was against this project at the rallies I held. I said that this project will cause heavy and irreversible disasters to Istanbul. I said, 'I will stand up. The people chose me. As soon as we took office, we terminated the cooperation protocol signed by the previous administration with the ministry.”
“WARNINGS OF THE GENERAL PRESIDENTS ARE RIGHT”
Reminding that the Concrete Channel was introduced as a 'state project' by the authorities, İmamoğlu said, “I was accused of opposing the state project. This project, which we call 'Concrete Channel', is not a state project; It is an election project. My Honorable Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and IYI Party Chairman Meral Akşener warned against this demolition project. They gave serious warnings to both the government and national or international companies that would attempt this with their capital. This was a fair warning. Why is that? As you know, it was revealed that many Turkish banks could not lend to this project because they signed the United Nations Responsible Banking Principles Agreement. This memorandum provides the framework for banks not to harm people and the planet, and signatories must abide by it. There are 131 banks in the world that have signed this agreement. It is not only valid for Turkish banks," he said. Pointing out that Ahmet Davutoğlu, one of the former prime ministers, Chairman of the Future Party, and Ali Babacan, Chairman of the DEVA Party, one of the former ministers, also had very important criticisms and warnings about the Concrete Channel, İmamoğlu said, “Most importantly, we listened to the loud warnings of Turkey's leading scientists. But we have never heard of any scientist saying 'This project is useful'. This alone is proof that the project is a disaster,” he said.
“I WILL NOT TELL AN ILLUSION”
“Now I will begin to tell you an illusion. Saying that those who say, 'We are hitting the first digging for the Kanal Istanbul project on June 26', I will tell you what they actually hit the digger," said İmamoğlu, briefly giving the following information:
In the first week of June, the first establishment of the construction site of the construction area you see ahead was carried out using İSKİ roads without permission. However, İSKİ requested information about the construction site in writing from the General Directorate of Highways, but the construction site was hastily set up without any response. Upon this inconvenient situation, the construction site established by IMM on Sunday, June 13, using the entrances of İSKİ, was evacuated. That is, it has been removed from the area where it was founded.
Upon this; On the night connecting 13 June to 14 June, at 03:30, military units were sent here. Frankly, we found this odd, as there was no tension or conflict in this area. Under the protection and supervision of military units, the construction site was rebuilt approximately 500 meters from our İSKİ campus in the region. It was stated that the construction site was established for the bridge no. 6 of the Kanal Istanbul project, which is claimed to be built.
PART OF NORTH MARMARA HIGHWAY
Now we come to the answer to the question 'what will actually happen on June 26'. Although it is called 'the canal project groundbreaking ceremony', according to the information available from open sources, it is observed that this groundbreaking ceremony is the Northern Marmara Motorway Connection Road project between the TEM Hasdal Junction and Nakkaş Junction of the Northern Marmara Motorway.
The road that will pass through this route was processed in the 2006/1 Environmental Plan in 100.000. On 29 April 2010, the route of the 3rd bridge to be built in Istanbul was announced by the Minister of Transport at a press conference. Kanal Istanbul was announced for the first time on April 27, 2011. In other words, the road project on this route was determined 1 year before the idea of Canal Istanbul until the bridge to be built here.
“A POLITICAL TRIAL TO SAVE THE DAY”
Undoubtedly, when the 3rd Bridge was built, a highway was needed. On August 26, 2016, the section of the 3rd Bridge and the Northern Marmara Motorway between Odayeri-Paşaköy-Kurtköy was put into service. Yassıören-Odayeri section was put into operation on 13 November 2018, Kınalı-Yassıören section in 2020 and Kurtköy-Akyazı sections on 20 December 2020. That's why we underline that; The groundbreaking ceremony to be held on Saturday is not the "Kanal Istanbul groundbreaking ceremony". It is the road construction foundation between Hasdal Junction and Nakkaş Junction, which was planned long before it will cross Sazlıdere with a bridge. In other words, the fact that a bridge will be built here has nothing to do with the canal project. It has to do with the road project. That's the illusion.
Saying 'I have laid the foundation of a canal' by erecting the feet of a much pre-planned bridge here is only an effort to save the day politically. This bridge would have been built even if there was not a strange issue called Kanal Istanbul on Turkey's agenda today. Finally, I don't know if Mr. President is aware of this technical information. If he knows, he'll pretend to 'ground'. If he does not know; that's worse. Someone is deceiving him again.
MUSILAGE RESPONSE TO THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORTATION
Imamoglu, from the journalists, "The Minister of Transport had previously made a statement saying, 'We will solve the mucilage with Kanal Istanbul'. You said you texted him and asked if he had a scientific explanation. Did you receive a reply to your message? In addition, he again declared that the water of the Marmara Sea would cool down with the water coming from the Black Sea, and thus the mucilage would disappear, which is what the scientists said. To the question “Do you have an answer to this?”, he replied as follows:
“I did not receive a response to my message. I would expect the minister, who put forward the idea that the Marmara will improve through the connection of the Black Sea to the Marmara, to publish a scientist's article or a scientist's report, study and feasibility. But I wanted the part where he said that part last night. I listened to a short episode in the morning and watched it. He was laughing. In other words, it was as if he was telling a Black Sea joke. A very sad statement. We call out again: Let a single scientific article proving the idea that the mucilage channel will recover with a second flow from the Black Sea should put forward a proof by signing a scientist, then let's accept this statement as credible and start analyzing it. It is a discredited recipe for us at the moment.”
“HE SHOULD CAME TO VISIT THE CONSTRUCTION SITE OF THE LEG OF THE BRIDGE”
After İmamoğlu's statement, he went to the point where the construction site for the foot of the bridge was seen. After the journalists reminded that the Minister of Transport was downstairs at the construction site at the same time, İmamoğlu said, “He probably came to visit the construction site of the foot of the bridge. He should come and work, but it would be a shame for him not to say, 'I am laying the foundation of the channel project,' he replied.