The Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has announced plans for a new waterway connecting the Black Sea and Sea of Marmara, which leads to the Aegean Sea. The new canal would bypass the congested natural connection upon which the city of Istanbul was built.
The proposed development will be around 50km long, 25 metres deep and 150 metres wide. Architectural design and planning firm HOK, engineering firm AEI (Affiliated Engineers, Inc.) and structural engineering firm Halvorson and Partners estimated that the project would cost between $25 and $30 billion to be funded by local and global investors and would be completed in 2023 to coincide with the centenary of the founding of the Turkish Republic.
Chip Crawford, Director of HOK’s Planning Group, said:
“There are so many examples throughout history where innovative infrastructure has laid the framework for economic vitality, while improving the quality of people’s lives. Each year, advances in technology and ingenuity make the ideas some think are improbable come true. The idea for Canal Istanbul could not only enhance this center of trade in Turkey, but clean up and give new life to this important piece of the world’s geography, where East meets West, fully integrating the social, environmental, and economic attributes of this amazing place.”
Upon the launch of the project, Prime Minister Erdoğan said that the canal would create thousands of jobs and would send a message to the world that Turkey is a leading country and a vital link between East and West.