HomeInfraTurkish ministry says Kanal Istanbul project ongoing

Turkish ministry says Kanal Istanbul project ongoing

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Turkey’s Transport and Infrastructure Ministry has stated that the work on the controversial Kanal Istanbul project continues by the ministry.

Responding to the daily BirGün’s question filed on the Presidential Communications Center (CİMER), the ministry said “Engineering studies of the project have been completed and zoning plan studies are ongoing in stages.” 

“The work on the projects of transportation structures on the Kanal Istanbul route has started. Works continue in stages in coordination with the relevant institutions,” it added, BirGün reported on March 15.

Turkish ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) Istanbul mayoral candidate, and former Environment Minister Murat Kurum previously said in February that the opposition’s argument of “Kanal Istanbul project is a betrayal of Istanbul” was a political scenario created by those “who do not find solutions to Istanbul’s problems, those who do not eliminate Istanbul’s transportation problems and earthquake risk.” 

“We are aware of these scenarios. Istanbulites are aware of these scenarios. That’s why we always say that any work not on Istanbul’s agenda will not be on our agenda either. Whatever the problems of Istanbul are, whatever the urgent, prioritized works and issues are, we will focus on them,” Kurum ambiguously said. 

The government says Kanal Istanbul, a canal project that aims to connect the Black Sea north of Istanbul to the Marmara Sea to the south, will ease shipping traffic on the Bosphorus Strait, one of the world’s busiest maritime passages, and prevent accidents similar to that this week on the Suez Canal, where work is continuing to refloat a giant container ship blocking the channel.

But like other major infrastructure projects undertaken during Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s rule, the canal has drawn criticism from those who say it will wreak environmental havoc and pollute freshwater resources around the megacity.

Recently, Istanbul 11th Administrative Court has canceled the zoning plans of the project.

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