Turkey Plans Own Panama Canal to Ease Traffic in Bosporus Shipping Lanes
On Wednesday, Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced plans to build a canal connecting the Black Sea with the Marmara Sea to reduce ship traffic in the Bosporus shipping lanes.
The new canal, named Kanal Istanbul, would cut directly through an area west of the Bosporus canal, of mostly undeveloped state owned lands. The project plans also include the construction of a new 60 million passenger-per-year airport for Istanbul and two minicities. Prime Minister Erdogan did not give cost estimates for the project nor did he say how the project would be paid for. He did say that the project would be “open to the world” and that he expected it to attract several investors.
The canal is expected to be 27 yards deep, 165 yards wide, and 28 to 30 miles long. A study of the terrain in the area must be completed before construction can begin. Experts estimate the proposed project could cost between $40 billion and $50 billion.
The new canal would significantly decrease traffic on the busy Bosporus strait, and is expected to minimize ship collisions. The canal’s proposed dimensions would make it able to accommodate some of the world’s largest ships, up to 300,000 dwt. tons.
PHOTO Courtesy of Turkish Forum, World Turkish Coalition