"Istanbul Canal" Mega-Project o Start in 2019

Turkish Transport and Infrastructure Minister Cahit Turhan announced on November 15 that Turkey plans to launch the Istanbul Canal project in 2019 in an interview with the Anatolia Agency in Ankara.

"The construction of the Istanbul Canal should not be delayed until 2020, and we hope we will start working in 2019," Turhan said, adding that 10 bridges are to be built as part of the canal project, which an artificial waterway connecting the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara and the Mediterranean Sea. The project is also scheduled to be completed by 2023, on the occasion of the centennial of the Turkish Republic.
The planned canal aims to provide support for shipping between the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara, especially the movement of oil tankers passing through the Bosphorus. The canal is will be built 45 kilometers (about 28 miles) in the Kucukcekmece - Sazlidere - Durusu route in Istanbul and planned to accommodate 160 vessels a day.
Turhan said the project will enhance the value of Istanbul brand and will provide a solution to the urgent problems of ship movement across the Bosphorus Strait, which are facing problems in urban transport, tourist visits and the passage of international commercial vessels as required by the Montreux Convention, and therefore the Bosphorus Strait is the most difficult maritime route to pass.
Under the Montreux Convention of 1936, commercial vessels can cross the Bosphorus Strait unhindered. When the agreement was signed, the number of passing vessels was only 3,000 vessels per year where the number now stands at 50,000, and is expected to reach 65,000 in 2030 and 100,000 in 2050. In addition to two 2,500 Other vessels, including the city's inland transportation lines and fishing boats.
Five different routes for implementing the Istanbul Canal project were analyzed and the most suitable destination was identified between Kucukcekmece and Yenikoy, an area along the Bosphorus Strait.
The route of the Istanbul Canal will begin from the line that separates the Sea of Marmara from Kucukcekmece Lake. It will travel towards the Sazlidere dam across the areas of Altınşehir and Sahintepe before reaching the Black Sea from the east of Lake Terkos near the Durusu area.
The project area will be within the boundaries of Arnavutkoy (28.6 km), Kucukcekmece (7 km), Basaksehir (4.0 km) and Avcilar (1.9 km)
At present, the project includes six bridges, one of which is a railway. Four other bridges will be built as part of the project, Turhan said.
He also stressed that Chinese entrepreneurs are not the only ones interested in the project, but investors from around the world are visiting Turkey to get more information about the Istanbul Canal and have expressed their plans to participate in the project. According to previous reports, South Korean construction giants who have built various projects in Turkey are also interested in bidding on the project.
The construction of the Istanbul Canal will be implemented within the BOT model, with the task assigned to the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure. According to the latest plan, the channel will be 45.2 kilometers long across the areas of Avcilar, Kucukcekmece, Basaksehir and Arnavutkoy in Istanbul.
The Turkish authorities recently decided to reduce the planned canal width from 400 meters to 275 meters, a move that would reduce the cost of the project to 65 billion Turkish liras ($ 14.19 billion) by more than half to 30 billion Turkish liras.


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