Ministry Gives Final Approval for Canal ?stanbul’s Environmental Impact Assessment Report

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  • January 17, 2020
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Minister Kurum has announced that they approved the report after the period of objections closed.

The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report of Canal Istanbul, a planned artificial waterway that would connect the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara, has been given the final approval by the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization.

The ministry on December 23 approved and published the report. The ten-day period of objection ended on January 2, with thousands of citizens submitting objections.

Tensions between the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the opposition have recently risen over the debate on the project.

Canal (Kanal) Istanbul project

President and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Chair Recep Tayyip Erdogan made a statement in 2011, when he was still the Prime Minister. In his speech, he mentioned "a new Istanbul" objective. Presented as a "crazy project", the plan referred to 'Canal Istanbul' for the first time.

What is in the 'crazy project'?

The basic information as to the project was shared with the public at a press conference in Halic Congress Center in 2011.

The plan foresaw an artificial sea-level waterway that would connect the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara. Accordingly, the project was extending from the region known as old stone pits on Black Sea shores in the north to Sariyer in the east and Karaburun in the west. While the residences in Sariyer center, Kemerburgaz, GAlkturk and ArnavutkAly have been excluded from the project, the damaged parts of the forest along the forest boundary have been included in the project. Sariyer region, which is a historical protected area, marked the eastern border of the project.

The work area was determined as 33 thousand 500 hectares and located at the borders of ArnavutkAly, Eyup and Sariyer districts. There were 21 villages with a population of 41 thousand 749 people within the designated work area.

The most important aspect of the project was the integration of transportation. The construction of 3rd Bosphorus bridge foreseen by the project has been completed. Minister Arslan stated that they would start the construction work this year.

Region opened to unearned income with bag bill

In May 2016, 32 articles of 20 laws were amended. An additional article added to the Pasture Law has paved the way for the region's zoning for construction.

With another amendment introduced to the law, it has been understood that the access roads to the Canal Istanbul will be toll roads.

Ahmet Arslan, the then Minister of Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communications, announced the route of the project in 2018. He said that the canal would form an artificial waterway from the Black Sea to Marmara Sea, covering 45 kilometers from Kucukcekmece Lake through Kucukcekmece-Sazlidere-Durusu corridor.

Source: English Bianet