dimanche 8 mai 2011

Canal Istanbul

Canal Istanbul

By aira– May 7, 2011

Istanbul Canal (Turkish: Kanal İstanbul) is the name of the artificial sea-level waterway, which is proposed to be built by the Republic of Turkey on the European side of Turkey, connecting the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara. Canal Istanbul would disect the current European side of Istanbul into two and thus create an Island between the continents of Asia and Istanbul (The Island would have a shoreline to the Black Sea, Sea of Marmara, Istanbul Canal and the Bosphorus).[1][2][3] The new waterway would bypass the current Bosphorus. Istanbul Canal aims to minimise shipping traffic in the Istanbul Strait. The project is intended for the 100th anniversary in 2023 of the foundation of the Turkish Republic.

Historical projects

The concept of a canal linking the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara was proposed seven times in the history.[4]

The first proposal was made by Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent (reigned 1520–1568). His architect Mimar Sinan was said to have devised plans for the project. The project was abandoned for unknown reasons.[4]

On March 6, 1591, during the reign of Sultan Murad III, an imperial ferman (order) was issued and work on the project recommenced, but again for unknown reasons the project was stoped.

In 1654 during the reign of Sultan Mehmed IV, pressure for the reccomencement of the canal was applied but to no avail.

Sultan Mustafa III (reigned 1757–1774) tried twice in 1760 but the project could not go ahead due to economic problems.

During the reign of Sultan Mahmud II, an Imperial Ottoman Committee was established to examine the project once again. A report was prepared in 1813 but no concrete steps were taken.

Finally, on January 17, 1994 shortly before the local elections, the leader of the Democratic Left Party (DSP) Bülent Ecevit proposed a canal connecting the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara.[4][5]

Istanbul Canal

It was not until April 2009, when the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government began secret studies into the project once again and that concrete steps were taken for the revival of the project. The project was mentioned by Minister of Transport Binali Yıldırım in May 2009 at the parliament.[6] Prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced the “Istanbul Canal” project on April 27, 2011 during a rally held in connection with the upcoming 2011 general elections, calling it as his “crazy project” (Turkish: çılgın proje).[7]

The main purpose of the project is to reduce the marine traffic through the Bosphorus and minimize the risks and dangers associated particularly with tankers.[7][8] About 56,000 vessels pass yearly through the Istanbul Strait, among them 10,000 tankers carrying 145 million tons of crude oil. International pressure is growing to increase the marine traffic tonnage through the Turkish straits that brings risks for the security of marine navigation during the passage.[6] The canal will further help prevent the pollution caused by cargo vessels passing through or mooring in the Sea of Marmara Sea before the southern entrance of the Bosphorus.[8]

The waterway will have a length of 45–50 km (28–31 mi) with a depth of 25 m (82 ft).[7] Its width will be 150 m (490 ft) on the surface and 120 m (390 ft) at the canal bed. These dimensions will allow the largest vessels to pass.[8]

Studies relating to the project will be accomplished within two years. The canal will be in service latest in 2023, the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Republic. The project will be financed completely by domestic sources.[8]


The Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality officials have stated that Istanbul Canal will cost $10 billion to build and that the financing for the development has already been allocated by the Turkish Treasury.[9][10][11] They further added that they would be relying entirely on national resources. It is envisaged that Turkish Armed Forces personnel would play a key role in the Canal’s development.


Some critics have stated that Turkey aims to by-pass the Montreux Convention Regarding the Regime of the Turkish Straits and attain greater autonomy with respect to the passage of military ships from the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara.[12][13]


1.^ “Turkey to build new waterway to bypass Bosporus”. Forbes. 2011-04-27. http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2011/04/27/general-eu-turkey-new-waterway_8436749.html.

2.^ “Turkey plans ‘crazy’ new canal”. UK News. 2011-04-28. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5jgvdu6fhcLQ4xMNHGiu9TXR-S_qQ?docId=N0140121303897060910A.

3.^ “Turkey to build waterway to bypass Bosphorus Straits”. BBC. 2011-04-27. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-13207304.

4.^ a b c “1994’te Ecevit ortaya attı, manşetlere ‘mega proje’ diye yansıdı”. Hürriyet. 2011-04-28. http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/ekonomi/17655112.asp. Retrieved 2011-05-01.

5.^ “”Kanal İstanbul” Ecevit’in projesi çıktı” (in Turkish). CNN Türk. 2011-04-27.
 Retrieved 2011-05-01.

6.^ a b “”Çılgın proje”yi Binali Yıldırım daha önce açıklamıştı” (in Turkish). CNN Türk. 2011-04-27. http://www.cnnturk.com/2011/yasam/diger/04/27/cilgin.projeyi.binali.yildirim.daha.once.aciklamisti/614719.0/index.html.
Retrieved 2011-05-01.

7.^ a b c Çıtak, Pınar (2011-04-27). “PM Erdoğan speaks out his ‘crazy project’; İstanbul Canal”. Doğan Haber Ajansı. http://www.dha.com.tr/pm-erdogan-speaks-out-his-crazy-project-canal-istanbul-flashaber_158456.html.
 Retrieved 2011-00-01.

8.^ a b c d “İstanbul’a ikinci boğaz: “Kanal İstanbul”" (in Turkish). 2011-04-29. http://www.cnnturk.com/2011/turkiye/04/27/istanbula.ikinci.bogaz.kanal.istanbul/614661.0/index.html.
 Retrieved 2011-05-01.

9.^ http://www.dpcmagazine.com/login.aspx?reason=denied_empty&script_name=/secure/display.aspx&path_info=/secure/display.aspx&articlename=dn0020110505000009

10.^ http://www.sandandgravel.com/news/article.asp?v1=14551

11.^ http://www.treehugger.com/files/2011/04/turkish-prime-minister-crazy-project-istanbul.php

12.^ “İstanbul Canal project to open debate on Montreux Convention”. Today’s Zaman. 2010-10-08. http://www.todayszaman.com/news-223806-istanbul-canal-project-to-open-debate-on-montreux-convention.html.

13.^ “Turkey debates whether international treaty is obstacle to plan to bypass the Bosporus”. The Washington Post. 2011-04-29. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/turkey-debates-whether-international-treaty-is-obstacle-to-plan-to-bypass-the-bosporus/2011/04/29/AFcaFrCF_story.html.

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