The Istanbul Canal project, is a ‘crazy and magnificent plan’ to connect the Marmara Sea and the Black Sea via a manmade canal with the purpose of rerouting commercial traffic on the Boshporus and reduce oil spills.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s project, which he calls Canal Istanbul, will be around 30 miles long, 25 metres deep and 150 metres wide. It would, he confidently predicted, be an unparalleled feat of engineering.
“We are building the canal of the century, a project of such immense size that it can’t be compared to the Panama or Suez canals,” he said.
The canal to be built on the European side of Istanbul will link the Black Sea with the Marmara Sea, and will be large enough for supertankers up to 300,000 dwt to pass through.
“Istanbul will become a city with two peninsulas and an island,” Erdogan said.
“The first peninsula already exists: the Asian side. The island will be formed between the canal and the Bosphorus when it cuts through the city, leaving a peninsula on the west.”
The aim is to relieve congestion through the Bosphorus Strait and reduce chances of an environmental disaster as tankers carrying oil and gas from Russia and Central Asia pass through the waterway separating the Asian and European halves of Istanbul.
“We are going to put an end to the heavy burden of traffic on the Bosphorus. Our aim is for between 130 and 160 ships passing through the Canal Istanbul,” Erdogan said.
The planned third airport for Istanbul will have capacity for 60 million passengers annually, he said.
The project is a positive development for the real estate sector and is likely to trigger a hike in land prices on the northwest of Istanbul, according to professionals.