Also Turkey and Istanbul are very present at the MIPIM this year. One of the “highlights” is the presentation of the giant project of a canal between the Marmara Sea and the Black Sea. This “second Bosporus”, one of president Erdogans manic ideas, is a fundamental threat to nature and man.
Experts and scientists working in the field warn that the project will not only devastate Istanbul and its environments. It will also engender critical consequences for the neighbouring countries. Critics say, the project is against international conventions, such as the Aarhus Convention, the Convention on Biological Diversity or the Convention on the Protection of the Black Sea against Pollution
“The government, via laws enacted lately, tries to evade all kinds of decent environmental impact assessments (EIA).”, an activist from Istanbul says. “Either they reduce EIA to a formal bureaucratic procedure without any real consequence. Or they exempt mega projects from EIA. This insane Canal will not be assessed as it should. Thus nobody will be able to assume the consequences for the people, cities and countries around it!”
Prof. Cemal Saydam from Hacettepe University in Ankara warns:
The Sea of Marmara is the child of the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea that was already born with asthma. There will not be enough oxygen to cope with the excess water coming from the canal, so the sea will gradually shift to an anoxic state, As a result, h the aquatic life at İzmit and Gemlik bays will forever disappear, and with the lack of oxygen, hydrogen sulfide will increase and cause a rotten egg smell.If you are happy to live in such an environment, it’s fine with me. But God created us in such a way that we are most sensitive to this specific odor even in small amounts… there is no way to know what other disasters will await the land and population as a result, and without a detailed oceanographic survey, no one should start that project.”
The canal project targets the most precious parts of Istanbul, the Northern Forests and conservation areas which are already was plundered by the 3rd bridge project and which will be further ruined by the planned 3rd airport.
“Taking into consideration its scale and its multiplier effect, if implemented, the Canal will be the death toll of Istanbul”, activists say. “We need the help to attract attention of the international community to the insanity of this project which is imposed from top down with no consultationwith scientists, experts, academic circles and populations.”