What’s the Truth?

Istanbul Canal is planned as a waterway with a length of approximately 45 km (28 mi), a depth of 20.75 m (68.1 ft.), and a width of 275 m (902 ft.) at the narrowest part. If built, the Canal will connect the Black Sea and the Marmara Sea by passing through Lake Küçükçekmece and Sazlıdere Dam on the south, reaching the Black Sea at the Durusu Region on the north. The stated justification for constructing the Canal is reducing expected large marine traffic through the Bosporus that connects the Marmara Sea and the Black Sea. In Bosporus, a natural strait with a width of 698 m (2290 ft.) at its narrowest point, approximately 50,000 vessels pass through in a year. It was stated that Bosporus will not be able to meet the needs of future marine traffic, which is expected to increase in parallel with the economic activities in the world. Another point is the belief that the vessel size will increase due to technological developments, and the vessels, especially the ones carrying hazardous/toxic substances such as fuels, would threaten the Bosporus. Therefore an alternative waterway other than Bosphorus is required in the city.

Istanbul Canal is planned to be built by the Republic of Turkey Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs, and Communication, General Directorate of Infrastructure Investments at the Küçükçekmece, Avcılar, Arnavutköy, and Başakşehir districts of Istanbul province. The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report prepared and finalized on Istanbul Canal Project (including Coastal Structures [Marinas, Container Ports and Logistics Centers] “Acquisition from the Sea, Bottom Sweep, Concrete Plants) was disclosed to the public on December 23, 2019.and was displayed for 10 days to get opinions and suggestions. On January 17, 2020, EIA Positive decision was made by the Ministry of Environment And Urbanization.

Istanbul Canal needs a comprehensive evaluation involving a wide spectrum of different discisplines. Among these, ship motions and maneuvers (vessel hydrodynamics), marine transportation, international maritime law, and Montreux Convention, earthquake engineering, earthquake and tsunami risk, canal hydrodynamics, protection of nature and environment, marine sciences, the status of groundwater, integrated coastal and marine structures, traffic and transportation, physical geography, atmosphere, weather and climate change, infrastructure and treatment facilities, cultural and natural assets, new settlements, meteorological parameters, spatial planning, environmental economics, and environmental law may be cited as the priority issues.

This page addresses all the significant issues covered or not covered, the mistakes made, misleading comments, and incomplete assessments in the EIA Report in detail. in addition to a complete evaluation of the risks, damages, and threats likely to be inflicted by the Canal to Istanbul and its natural environment.