Canal Istanbul will ruin coastlines of Sea of Marmara, NGO says

A shipping canal planned for Istanbul could ruin the whole coastline surrounding the Marmara Sea, said Hüseyin Alan, the head of the Chamber of Geology Engineers of Turkey.

A one centimetre elevation difference between the Marmara Sea and the Black Sea caused by the proposed Kanal Istanbul would lead to severe land erosion along the coastline, Cumhuriyet newspaper cited Alan as saying on Thursday.

“If it is built, the whole coastline around the Marmara Sea will face floods in later years and you will not be able to see any of the existing beaches,” he said, referring to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s canal project, which aims to divert maritime traffic from Istanbul’s winding Bosporus Straits. 

Turkey’s Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation approved an environmental impact assessment report for Kanal Istanbul last week, despite the objections of several experts who underlined the potential negative effects of the project on the environment. 

Naci Görür, a well-known professor of geology, said this week that Kanal Istanbul might exacerbate the damage caused by any major earthquake to the city’s western districts of Çatalca and Çekmece, areas bordering the southern entrance of the proposed canal.