Transportation Minister Binali Yildirim praised the Canal Istanbul project yesterday at the First Marmara and Black Sea Conference in Istanbul, saying it would be finalized in five to six years, and that the project was aimed at protecting the Bosphorus.
“Of the 50,000 ships that pass through the Bosphorus, 9,500 carry dangerous materials. The total weight of these materials is 150 million tons,” said Yildirim, adding that if there was an accident the consequences could be disastrous. He explained that it was not possible to expand the borders of the Bosphorus and that protecting the waterway was a top priority.
“Canal Istanbul is a project that is very important to us. Once it is completed, we will have a waterway on which we will be able to completely control the traffic on the Bosphorus,” said Yildirim. He also added that the Canal Istanbul Project would benefit oil tankers that currently lose money due to the congestion as they wait to enter the Bosphorus.
“We plan to complete this project in five to six years and we are currently working on the plans,” said Yildirim.
According to Yildirim, once every 40 hours one of the tankers crossing the Bosphorus faces a mechanical problem, and it is only due to strict controls that there have been no major incidents over the past ten years.
Source: Hurriyet Daily News