Istanbul Mayor gives 15 reasons to oppose Kanal Istanbul project

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Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu on Dec. 25 outlined 15 reasons to oppose the planned Kanal Istanbul project.

“[On Dec. 22] I’ve announced that as the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, we withdrew from [taking part in] the protocol of Kanal Istanbul. Because as you discuss [it] with the scientists, it is revealed that Kanal Istanbul is not a betrayal project of betrayal, but a murder project. It is a disaster project against the existence of 16 million [people in Istanbul] and the security of 82 million [Turkish citizens],” İmamoğlu said during a press conference.

“Regardless of the promises made to whomever, [Kanal Istanbul] should be renounced,” he said.

İmamoğlu said that one of the reasons for his opposition to the project is a possible water shortage Kanal Istanbul could cause.

“If the project is realized, Istabul, which has been existing for 8,500 years, will lose both its under- and aboveground water sources. Let alone the other 14 reasons, this reason on its own stipulates shelving the project,” İmamoğlu said.

The mayor also said that data concerning this is available in reports prepared by State Hydraulic Works (DSİ) and Istanbul Water and Sewerage Administration (İSKİ).

Citing the reports, he said that Kanal Istanbul will pave the way for saltwater to be mixed in Lake Terkos and the delta. A major water source for the city’s European side, “will disappear,” while Sazlıdere Dam “will remain functionless,” the mayor said.

The water shortage is also a strategic and security problem, İmamoğlu said, since the planned construction zone is a “strategic reserve area” that’s sources can be used during wars and natural disasters.

Besides a feared possibility of drought, Kanal Istanbul will trigger the risk of an earthquake in the city, according to İmamoğlu.

“Taking the history and data of 120 years, any structuring along the canal’s route creates huge risk for human life, because earthquakes are an unalterable reality of this region. The soil structure is prone to landslides,” he said.

“Scientists say that the Kanal Istanbul project will overturn under- and aboveground stress balances. Overloads the constructions will cause is said to cause new and more high-magnitude earthquakes,” he said.

İmamoğlu also said that such a construction will have economic impacts on the citizens, as it will lead the way to more taxes, while pushing up the costs of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality.

Underlining that such a project will violate the Montreux Convention, which “protects Turkey and countries bordering the Black Sea,” the mayor said that Kanal Istanbul’s impacts will violate seven more international agreements.

Hurriyet Daily News

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