Turkey to construct canal to alleviate traffic in the Bosphorus

Turkey is to start construction this year of a 45 km canal to ease traffic on the Bosphorus. The Kanal Istanbul will also turn the European half of Istanbul into an island. The waterway – Turkey’s largest infrastructure project ever – will link the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara.

The canal will be 25 m deep and 250-1,000 m wide, depending on where the docks are located.

The number of ship accidents in the Bosphorus has increased over the years as traffic has picked up dramatically, with more than 40,000 transits along the waterway recorded in 2016 alone.

Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan described the canal plan as a “crazy project” when he first discussed the concept seven years ago.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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