FROM THE COMMUNICATION DEPARTMENT OF THE PRESIDENCY OF REPUBLIC OF TURKEY
CLAIMS AND ANSWERS ON KANAL ISTANBUL
CLAIM: “Kanal Istanbul will lead to drought in the city. Istanbul will lose groundwater and surface water resources.”
• Presently, Istanbul's annual water consumption is approximately 1 billion 60 million cubic meters.
• When the water reserve in the canal route is examined;
o The project area is not close to the conservation area of the Terkos Lake.
o The current yield of Sazlıdere Dam is 49 million cubic meters per year.
• The impact of the canal on the total water reserve is around 3 percent.
• When Melen Dam project, which is the main resource for the future of Istanbul, is completed, 1.1 billion cubic meters of water will be carried to Istanbul annually.
o This figure is 34 times the difference that will occur due to Kanal Istanbul.
o This corresponds to more than the annual reserve that Istanbul needs.
• In addition, when Hamzalı, Pirinççi and Karamandere Dams planned by DSI are commissioned, they will exceedingly increase the water reserve of İstanbul.
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CLAIM: “Kanal Istanbul will trigger the earthquake.”
• The distance of Kanal Istanbul to the North Anatolian fault line is 11 kilometers and the distance to the Çınarcık fault line is 30 kilometers.
• It is unscientific to argue that a 21-meter deep channel will trigger a fault line at a depth of 20 kilometers.
• Also during the EIA process, reports were prepared not only on earthquakes but also on tsunami risk.
o Construction standards appropriate to all kinds of disaster scenarios have been introduced for the area where the canal will pass, the ports and buildings to be constructed, and the materials to be used in these structures.
• To see how the canal will be affected by an earthquake; tests were carried out on the basis of earthquakes recurring for 2,475 years, instead of the simulations that are normally carried out according to earthquakes occurred 145 and 475 years ago.
• In addition, the Active Fault Map of Turkey which was revised in 2013 does not show any active fault capable of causing an earthquake along the route of Kanal Istanbul.
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CLAIM: "The construction around the canal will soon change the temperature-humidity-wind regime and turn Istanbul into a heat island."
• Actions have been taken and will be taken in line with the relevant articles of Forest Law No. 6831 in order to protect forest land.
• No construction will be allowed on the shores of Küçükçekmece Lake and this area will continue to be protected as a Natural Protected Area.
• The continuity of habitats and wild life on both sides of the canal will be ensured.
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CLAIM: "The Bathenoa Ancient City, located on the shores of Küçükçekmece Lake, and Yarımburgaz Caves will be absorbed by the project.”
• Kanal Istanbul has no connection with the Bathenoa Ancient City and Yarımburgaz Caves.
o The ancient city of Bathenoa is outside the work area of the Canal.
o Yarımburgaz Caves are also outside the construction area of the Canal.
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CLAIM: "IMM will have to bear 23-35 billion Liras of unnecessary cost.”
• According to the protocol; all stakeholder institutions and organizations should do their part for the safety and security of the residents of Istanbul.
• A cost statement of 23-35 billion Liras is just exaggerated.
• The reconstruction costs of the infrastructure facilities of IMM, which should be built with the canal, do not approach TL 10 billion.
• The relevant cost studies were carried out with related institutions of IMM.
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CLAIM: “At least a further tax burden of 110 billion liras will be imposed on 82 million people."
• The project is for the safety, security and the benefit of our country.
o It is too valuable to be measured by a monetary figure.
• The increased international trade and strategic importance that we will achieve with the completion of the project is again too big to be measured by a monetary value.
• The project will be completed by using public resources in the most effective, efficient and appropriate manner.
• The cost of the project is TL 75 billion, not 110 billion.
• Our government has implemented several financing models before.
o Many methods such as build-operate, build-lease, profit sharing have been used in the projects.
• There are many models implemented previously in Turkey. All will be considered.
o All the finance models will be worked on, and the one yielding the most successful result will be preferred.
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CLAIM: “Why should the ships pass through Kanal Istanbul by paying money when they can pass through the Bosphorus for free?"
• Presently, ships passing through the Bosphorus pay certain fees such as lighthouse, rescuing and sanitation fees and fees for tugboat and pilotage services.
• Currently there is no free passage.
• Taking into consideration the time the ships have to wait before they pass through the Bosphorus, preferring Kanal Istanbul over the Bosphorus will provide an important advantage for the ships.
o According to the current year's data, ships have to wait for approximately 14 hours for each passage on average.
o The average waiting time for ships carrying dangerous cargoes such as tankers may be as long as 30 hours.
• According to 2017 data, the economic loss suffered by tankers due to waiting amounts to millions of dollars.
o The daily rental loss suffered by tankers over 200 meters in length can be as high as 120 thousand dollars on average.
• A 200-meter-long ship travels through the Bosphorus in about 1.5 hours under appropriate conditions.
• When the waiting periods are taken into consideration, total transit costs increase dramatically. This will lead the ships to prefer Kanal Istanbul.
CLAIM: "The earthworks stemming from the canal construction will reach 2 billion cubic meters, whereas the annual excavation capacity of Istanbul is 40 million cubic meters.”
• According to the results of the excavation and filling calculations; the amount of excavation due to the canal construction will be 1.15 billion cubic meters.
• The locations where the earthwork will be stored are not the existing excavation dump sites of Istanbul.
• It will not have any relationship with other excavation sites in the city.
• Conveyors, vehicles, earthmoving and excavation trucks will take their loads from both sides of the canal and dump them to the designated area on the Black Sea coast. They will not enter or exit Istanbul.
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CLAIM: "With the start of the construction, TEM and E-5 highways will be closed to traffic frequently.”
• Materials stemming from the excavation within the scope of Kanal Istanbul Project will be transported to the storage areas using the roads to be built within the working area. Urban roads and ring roads will not be used.
• In this regard, a nuance is stated in the EIA:
o The investor company will have tracking system to prevent the risks that may arise in case of non-compliance with the traffic rules, and this investor will also be monitored instantly.
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CLAIM: "An additional population of 1 or 2 million people will come to Istanbul”
• The maximum permissible population in the region is 500,000 people.
• The city to be established on both sides of Kanal Istanbul will be designed according to the smart district and smart city concept.
o With the Canal Istanbul project, the city will gain two exemplary smart cities that will offer comfort with its traffic, social facilities and green spaces.
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CLAIM: "The salt water quantity of the Black Sea will increase and its natural balance will be disrupted." Fishes will disappear and fishing will end in both Marmara and the Black Sea."
• Scientific studies and modeling were employed to perform simulations and calculations for the summer and winter months.
• In the light of these analyses, it was found that the levels of dissolved oxygen did not fall below the limit required for the living organisms as claimed.
• In other words, the continuity of the wild life conditions of the Marmara and Black Sea will be preserved.
o Also sea flora and fauna studies and ecosystem evaluation reports have been presented in the scope of the environmental status assessment studies in the EIA report.
• Monitoring plans have been created for ecology and water quality.