Canal project could leave Istanbul smelling of rotten eggs, experts say

The Canal Istanbul project threatens to put salt into Istanbul’s water sources, damage the surrounding environment, submerge architectural heritage and leave the city smelling of rotten eggs, Zia Weise wrote in Politico.

“The media are afraid to write about it,” Akif Burak Atlar, Istanbul chairman of the Chamber of Urban Planners, told Weise with regard to the $10 billion project to build a waterway to link the Black Sea and Sea of Marmara, bypassing the Bosporus Straights.

“Are there urban planners in the government? Yes. But they don’t have the will to tell them about these technical details, because they might lose their jobs. They have mortgages. Nobody’s taking that risk,” he said.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan recently announced the project would begin construction, Weise said, regardless of the opinions of experts in a number of fields.

Scientists have warned that the canal would likely lead to the production of hydrogen sulphide in the Marmara Sea south of Istanbul, she added, meaning that the city would start smelling of rotten eggs.