CHP candidate opposes Erdoğan’s ‘crazy’ canal project

The main opposition Republican People’s Party presidential candidate Muharrem İnce said if elected he would scrap Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Canal Istanbul project, AFP reported on Friday. 

Canal Istanbul has become a major election issue, with Erdogan boasting of the idea as evidence of his vision of turning Turkey into one of the world's most innovative and fast-growing economies and İnce describing it as a gigantic waste of money.

Then-prime minister Erdoğan had promised the building of a 45km long, 400m wide canal between the Marmara Sea and the Black Sea on the European side of the city as one of his ‘crazy’ mega projects ahead of the 2011 general elections. The canal will start from the Küçükçekmece Lake in the southern part of the European side of the city and would pass through the districts of Avcılar and Başakşehir before reaching the Black Sea in the Arnavutköy district northwest of the city. According to the Turkish government the project, which will accommodate 160 vessels per day, aims to reduce marine traffic through the Bosphorus strait, one of the busiest waterways in the world.