Published On: Thu, Mar 7th, 2024

Europe to get its own Suez Canal with £20bn plan to turn huge city into an island | World | News

Europe is set to create its own version of the Suez Canal, as the ambitious project in Turkey gains momentum. The Istanbul Canal initiative, spearheaded by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2021, aims to transform the city of Istanbul into a global trade hub, with an estimated cost of £20 billion.

The project faced initial resistance due to concerns about its impact on Istanbul’s ecosystem.

However, the Turkish government pressed forward with its vision for 2023 and 2053, highlighting the economic and commercial benefits the canal would bring to the nation.

The Istanbul Canal is strategically positioned in the western part of Istanbul, connecting the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea. With a length of 45 km, a width ranging from 400 to 1000 metres, and a depth of up to 25 metres, the canal will feature six bridges connecting it to the European side of Istanbul.

It is projected to accommodate the passage of 160 ships or tankers annually, alleviating pressure on the heavily trafficked Bosphorus Strait.

President Erdogan, referring to the project as his “crazy project,” emphasised its significance in 2021.

He said: “Today we are opening a new page in the history of Turkey’s development. We see Canal Istanbul as a project to save the future of Istanbul … to ensure the safety of life and property of Istanbul’s Bosphorus and the citizens around it.”

The canal, set for completion in 2027, is poised to position Istanbul as a global trade center by providing a vital waterway parallel to the renowned Bosphorus Strait. This strategic location is expected to attract numerous commercial and tourism projects, further enhancing the city’s economic prospects.

The value of the Istanbul Canal project is estimated at £20 billion, comprising £8 billion for building areas on both sides of the canal and £12 billion for the canal’s construction. This significant investment reflects Turkey’s commitment to creating a modern infrastructure that fosters economic growth and enhances its global standing.

As the canal project progresses, it promises not only to reshape Istanbul’s landscape but also to solidify Turkey’s position as a key player in international trade and commerce.

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