Erdogan’s crazy project, the Turkish president announced the start of works to double the Bosphorus canal in late June

Bosphorus_canal

Erdogan launched his latest crazy idea, to create a new Canal to double the Bosphorus, obliterating part of the city of Istanbul. The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced that the construction of a new artificial canal in Istanbul will begin in late June. The project, which has been talked about for ten years, was strongly supported by Erdoğan and his Islamist party, despite the many criticisms received for the enormous costs and environmental impact.

The canal, which will be built west of Istanbul, the second main city in Turkey, will cost about 15 billion euros and will be 45 kilometers long: once completed, it will join the Sea of Marmara to the Black Sea. Another piece to revive the Ottoman Empire, or rather the Islamic State, also adapting geography and nature to this shady plan.

Istanbul extends on both sides of the Bosphorus, the strait that divides Europe from Asia and joins the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara, in turn, connected to the Mediterranean. Due to its privileged geographical position, at the center of the routes between East and West, the Bosphorus channel is always heavily trafficked by ships to and from Russia, Bulgaria, Romania, Georgia, and Ukraine.

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In 1994, the canal was closed for a few days when a Russian ship broke in two, releasing about 900,000 liters of gasoline into the water a few kilometers from the coast. The new canal would therefore serve to lighten the traffic of ships that pass every day a few kilometers from the coasts of Istanbul. Families of Qataris with large portfolios have won large lots of the study path.

With expropriations and land purchases, a “new city” of 500,000 inhabitants will be built, and neighborhoods facing both sides. The Istanbul mayor Ekrem Imamoglu, was among the first to reject President Erdogan’s crazy idea, asserting that doubling the Bosphorus canal means killing the city, with enormous consequences for the economy, citizens, and the environment.

Even the largest Turkish banks did not want to finance the Istanbul canal planned by President Erdogan due to environmental concerns and investment risks looming over the pharaonic construction project.Reuters revealed months ago that a global sustainability pact signed by six of Turkey’s leading banks represented an obstacle to financing the “Istanbul Kanal”, which Erdogan dubbed his “crazy project” when he presented it a decade ago.

The government hopes to start mega-construction in June, the canal that would connect the Black Sea in the north with the Sea of Marmara in the south, traveling 45 km (28 miles) through swamps, farms, and villages on the west border of the city.

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