The Kanal Istanbul project has been “fully debated” but is now in the implementation stage, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on October 8.
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Speaking at the 12th Transport and Communications Week at Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport, Erdoğan said the inability of the Bosporus to withstand the growing freight traffic has led them to seek alternatives.
Noting that laying the foundation for the Sazlıdere Bridge is the first concrete step of the project, Erdoğan said, “We will carry out further works as part of the project plan. We will start the excavation of the canal according to the plan.
“When we look at where we came from with these investments, which are the basic infrastructure of development, we see that we have come a long way indeed. Most of the titles that we expressed yesterday as a vision and a goal are now before us as completed projects, he said.
With Kanal Istanbul, the government aims to open an artificial sea route between the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara to ease the traffic of tankers through the Bosporus, one of the busiest sea passages in the world.
The 45-kilometer canal to be developed west of the city center on the European side of the city is proposed to have a capacity of 160 ship passages per day.
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Approving the report on the environmental impact of the megaproject, the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization gave the green light to Kanal Istanbul in January this year. The Kanal Istanbul project is estimated at some 75 billion Turkish liras (around 8.8 billion dollars).
Turkey is expected to start manufacturing its first indigenous electric train locomotive next year, Erdoğan also said.
The president noted that the Turkish railway industry has improved thanks to government investments, such as the development of a local electric train and the design of high-speed trains.
“We are about to get to the point where we are going to produce subways, suburbs and streetcars,” he noted.
Emphasizing the advantageous geographical location of the country, the president said that Turkey’s Istanbul Airport, which opened less than three years ago, ranks second among the best international airports in the world.
Istanbul Airport is the busiest airport in Europe, he said, adding that the airport is becoming one of the symbols of Turkey’s grand vision.