The construction works for Canal Istanbul project, linking the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara (and the Mediterranean Sea), north and south of Istanbul was expected to start by the end of 2019, according to Turkish media, but there is no official confirmation from the government about the exact date. Known as the “crazy project,” Canal Istanbul has been on the government’s agenda since 2011.


The new channel will not be subject to the international treaty namely the Montreux Convention signed in 1936, that limits the access of warships to Black Sea, considered by Russia as its strategic backyard.


The government has said the canal will be 45 kilometers long and 25 meters deep, and at some points up to one kilometer wide. It will start at Lake Küçükçekmece on the Marmara Sea coast west of Istanbul. According to Ahmet Arslan, the Turkish Minister for Transportation, Maritime and Communications “The main objective of the project is to reduce potential risks posed by ships carrying dangerous materials, passing throgh the Bosporus”


According to Turkish media, in the past 10 years, six out of 10 of the world’s largest projects were undertaken in Turkey. Canal Istanbul would be the largest construction project of the decade in global terms.


The main actor against the Canal Istanbul Project is the main opposition party, CHP. Kılıçdaroğlu on Dec. 19 accused the government of “betraying” Istanbul with the planned Canal Istanbul project. In addition, Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu outlined 15 reasons to oppose the planned Canal Istanbul project. İmamoğlu said that one of the reasons for his opposition is a possible water shortage Canal Istanbul could cause.

For İmamoğlu’s opposition, you can follow the link:


The Project is one of Turkey’s most strategic megaprojects, the upcoming days will show its pros and cons as a result of more voices coming to the fore for and against the Project.

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