Transport and Infrastructure Minister Adil Karaismailoğlu said on Thursday that Turkey’s role in global maritime transport will be enhanced with the Kanal Istanbul project.
The minister told reporters during his visit to the Istanbul inauguration area, where one of the six cable-stayed bridges will be built, that the transport capacities of ships are increasing every day, which also leads to an increase of the quantity of dangerous cargo transported.
“There are navigation difficulties in the Bosporus due to the sharp bends, strong currents and urban maritime traffic which carries 500,000 passengers per day. Last week, 2 fishermen lost their lives when a cargo ship collided with their fishing boat in the Bosporus. Preventing such accidents and protecting Istanbul from all disasters show why the Kanal Istanbul project is necessary, ”he said.
He added that the project will help Istanbul to become a sustainable next-generation city and an established logistics base.
Worn by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and revealed in 2011, Kanal Istanbul is one of Turkey’s most strategic megaprojects, intended to stem the growing risk posed by ships carrying dangerous goods via the Bosporus, in particular tankers.
The canal will connect the Black Sea in the north of Istanbul to the Sea of Marmara in the south. Designed as an alternative global seaway, it has an estimated cost of around TL 75 billion ($ 8.6 billion).
The 45-kilometer (27.96-mile) long canal, which will be built in Istanbul’s Küçükçekmece-SazlSdere-Durusu corridor, will have a capacity of 160 vessels per day and is expected to create significant economic value by reducing transit times and costs while being at while ensuring a return by the collection of passage fees.
However, critics point to the possible environmental effects of the project on the Sea of Marmara and the city itself through effects on water resources and a possible construction boom along the route of the canal. In addition, the huge cost of the project is also a point of contention with critics who argue that these funds could be diverted to various other priority issues including