Ground-breaking ceremony for the Istanbul Canal

TURKEY. On Saturday 26 June 2021,

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

officially launched the construction of the Istanbul Canal (Kanal Istanbul), a new seaway that will enable ships to link the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara. Located to the west of the country's economic capital, this artificial strait, 45 km (27 miles) long, 275 metres wide and 21 metres deep, will run parallel to the Bosphorus Strait.

Boats will thus be able to benefit from an alternative to the passage through the Bosphorus Strait, which is very congested. There are 41,000 ships (including 10,000 oil tankers) passing through it each year and forecasts indicate that there will be 78,000 by 2050. In addition to easing maritime traffic, the Istanbul Canal will allow "

a reduction in the waiting time for ships to enter and leave the port and the resolution of problems caused by navigation difficulties in the Bosphorus

", insists the Turkish president.

"

Today, we are turning a new page in the history of Turkey's development ... This project will give a new lease of life to our foreign trade

," the Turkish president stressed on this occasion. The symbolic start of the construction work consisted of laying the first stone, in Sazlidere, of one of the six bridges that will span the future canal.

Critics of the project denounce its astronomical cost, estimated at 12.5 billion, but also its ecological impact. On the first point, Recep Tayyip Erdogan rep....

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