A special session was held in the IMM Assembly for the controversial project Kanal Istanbul. In the speeches made on behalf of the Nation Alliance, it was emphasized that the Sea of Marmara would die and agriculture would come to an end due to the project, and it was pointed out that the canal with an estimated cost of 65 billion dollars would only start to pay itself back after 130 years. Members of the Council of the People's Alliance said that with the project, the security of the Bosphorus will be ensured and the world map will change.
The last meeting of the January sessions of the IMM Assembly was held under the chairmanship of the 2nd Deputy Chairman of the Assembly, Ömer Faruk Kalaycı, in Yenikapı. Gathered at the Architect Kadir Topbaş Performance and Art Center.
SözcüAccording to Özlem Güvemli's report, a general discussion was held on the Kanal Istanbul project in the last session. Members of the Council of the People's Alliance expressed their views with the theme of "Both Canal and Istanbul", and members of the Nation Alliance with the theme "Either Canal or Istanbul".
Many topics were discussed, from the effects of the project on the nature to the safety of the Bosphorus, from its relationship with Montreux to the zoning movements.
“Neither economy nor nature can handle such a project”
İbrahim Özkan, Deputy Chairman of the Iyi Party Group, said, “While Kanal Istanbul is destroying nature, it will also consume the economy. This project, which is reduced to real estate-oriented economic gains, means the destruction of nature with dozers in one of the most environmentally valuable and habitat-rich regions of Istanbul. Neither economy nor nature can handle such a project," he said.
Özkan emphasized that the project is also against Turkey's zero carbon commitment in the Paris Convention. Ozkan said:
“It is estimated that 60 percent of the agricultural lands in the project area will be opened for construction”
“The 'Crazy Contracting Project', called Kanal Istanbul, will further increase the mass deforestation that Istanbul is dragged into for the sake of rent. With Kanal Istanbul, the forests of Istanbul, which have decreased by 50 thousand hectares in the last 27 years, will decrease even more.
It is estimated that 60 percent of the agricultural lands in the project area will be opened for construction. The realization of the project may drag the country into an irreversible ecological disaster in the coming years.
Kanal Istanbul is a project that was announced and imposed during the political campaigns of the current government. In the 2021 Investment Program, there is no investment decision regarding Kanal Istanbul, except for the allocation of 2013 TL for a divided road project, the construction of which started in 1000.
The government should stop thinking about these issues as soon as possible, and allocate its current resources and energy to much more urgent problems such as the economy, such as earthquakes and pandemics, and urgently shelve unnecessary issues that will fuel these problems even more.”
“As MHP, we support the project”
MHP Group Deputy Chairman and Silivri Mayor Volkan Yılmaz said, “We see the project as useful and necessary. We believe that it is a project that will save the Bosphorus. As MHP, we support the project.”
Tevfik Göksu, AKP Group Deputy Chairman and Mayor of Esenler, used the following statements;
“AK Party has revealed a great vision that will change the map of the world”
“The AK Party has made investments in Turkey that no one can even imagine. The economy brought together reforms in cultural and social life. AK Party manages the future, while others only try to preserve the past. Now he has revealed a great vision that will change the map of the world. As the project explained, 'do not want ükçüler' emerged.
For CHP, this project has become a 'pathological channel'. The CHP is experiencing the depression of the state's inability to compete in the political competition despite its existence at the founding of the republic. That's why he's against it.
Set off from Edirne to Kars, look to your right and left and you will see Menderes, Özal, Erbakan and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Did you oppose the Bosphorus Bridge, Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge, Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge, Istanbul Airport, Eurasia Tunnel, Marmaray? Done. Who was right? We were right. A political mentality that has opposed all the values and investments of this nation has nothing to offer this society.”
“Why can't you see Atatürk?”
Sarıyer Mayor Şükrü Genç responded to Göksu and said, “The names you have mentioned from Edirne to Kars are very valuable. 4 of them are engineers. Okay, why can't you see Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who can be seen not only on the way from Edirne to Kars, but also from space? It should not be forgotten what has been done in every field from the factory to education in the period when poverty was knee-deep since the establishment of the Republic.”
“Design project with the target of zoning rent”
On the issue of Kanal Istanbul, "As the representatives of Istanbulites, today; We had to discuss solutions to basic issues such as unemployment, the fight against poverty, the danger of an earthquake that is getting closer every day, and transportation. What are we talking about in this environment? We will talk about the design project whose aim is zoning rent, where the balance established by nature will be disrupted by stubbornness with science, the only true concept, 'crazy', which is growing but even the project has not been created.
“This 'crazy' is neither an agenda nor a need nor a priority”
Emphasizing that the ship traffic in the Bosphorus has decreased by 14 percent in the last 30 years, Genç pointed out that the Suez Canal provides a distance advantage of 6 km and the Panama Canal provides a distance advantage of 13 thousand km, while Kanal Istanbul does not even provide a distance advantage. Young said, “One thing is clear; this 'crazy' is neither an agenda nor a need nor a priority”.
“Agricultural land the size of 20 thousand football fields will be destroyed”
Küçükçekmece Mayor Kemal Çebi explained the damage that Kanal Istanbul will cause to the environment.
Çebi said, “Sazlıdere Dam, which meets the water needs of 1.5 million people a year, will be out of service with Kanal Istanbul. There will also be a massive public loss. The Sea of Marmara will die. 1.2 billion cubic meters of excavation will destroy the coastal ecosystem. The surroundings of Küçükçekmece Lake will be opened for construction and will disappear. Agricultural land the size of 20 thousand football fields will be destroyed,” he said.
“The cost of the channel is 65 billion dollars with the most optimistic estimate”
Sisli Mayor Muammer Keskin talked about the financial effects of the project. Keskin, who started his speech with the words “We have been trying to remove the stone thrown into a well for 10 years”, said, “The purpose, importance and benefit are still unclear. There is no single plausible explanation for why it was done. Why insist on Kanal Istanbul when the economic crisis has turned into a crisis and one out of every 4 young people is unemployed? Because the rant is here. It's not a canal, it's a plundered Istanbul. 30 million square meters of land changed hands on the project route. The cost of the canal is 65 billion dollars, with the most optimistic estimate. The cost of Kanal Istanbul is 2022 times the sum of all the district budgets of Istanbul in 37. The project will bring a load of 45 billion TL to İSKİ. "The channel will only start to pay for itself after 130 years," he said.
“Kanal Istanbul was designed as a real estate project with a population of 2 million”
Beylikdüzü Mayor Mehmet Murat Çalık said, “The unique texture of Istanbul has entered the process of disappearing rapidly. This country does not need irrational projects. Kanal Istanbul was designed as a real estate project with a population of 2 million. Even if the canal is not built, 'Yenişehir' will be built where this population will live. Istanbul will face additional problems of 2 million additional population. Kanal Istanbul is intended to be built not for us, but for a handful of rich people. This channel will extinguish the light of Istanbul," he said.