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Turkey began to cut an artificial channel named 'Canal Istanbul,' an alternate of Bosporus
Environmental Science International Environment Zeba Tarannum

Turkey began to cut an artificial channel named ‘Canal Istanbul,’ an alternate of Bosporus

Turkey began to cut an artificial channel named ‘Canal Istanbul,’ an alternate of Bosporus

Zeba Tarannum

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the President of Turkey, has finally started working to fulfill that dream after conducting various surveys for long ten-years.



He inaugurated a canal excavation project by dividing the largest city of the country, Istanbul’s European side, into two parts. Its goal is to connect the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara and the Mediterranean Sea, which has created a storm of discussion worldwide, as it was the dream of Suleiman the Magnificent.

The aim of this Istanbul Canal,’ artificially dug canal-like Suez or Panama, is- creating an alternative navigate the route in the Bosporus, to facilitate the transit of more ships between those two seas. Although, many opposed this canal project in Turkey.

President Erdogan said, “This canal will open a new chapter in the development of Turkey.” In the inauguration ceremony, the Turkish President further said, “In 1930’s decade, 3000 ships used to pass every year through the Bosporus strait. But now, about 45000 ships pass through this strait every year.”

 “In the middle of this century that is by 2050, the number will be increased into 78,000. The movement of such a huge number of ships would create extreme risk for the Istanbul city’s environment, “he warned.

However, not only canal excavation, but the project also includes:

  • A new International standard seaport.
  • Container terminals.
  • Some artificial islands.
  • Several modern towns along the two sides of the canal.



He announced the digging of the channel at a public meeting after the AK party (Justice and Development Party -Turkey) came to power under the leadership of Erdogan in 2011.

Although many people thought, it was a political gesture and people would forget it a few days later. Still, Erdogan’s government conducted various surveys from 2011 to 2018 on the possibility of digging the canal.

The idea of digging a canal as an alternative to Bosporus came into the head from a long time ago, during the region of Sultan Suleiman, the Magnificent of the Ottoman Empire.

Although Sultan Suleiman’s Architect Mimar Sinan made the plan, canceled for some unknown reason, later, during the region of Sultan Murad-III, on March 6, 1691, a royal decree was issued then for digging the canal, but also canceled. Like this, the excavation initiative took seven times past, but it never proceeded.

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