Istanbul Canal: the launch of a crazy project?
In Turkey, the foundation stone has been laid for the first bridge across the Istanbul Canal. The 45-kilometre canal is to provide an alternative to the Bosporus as a connection between the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara. Opponents fear it will cause major damage to the environment while the government argues that it will relieve the pressure on the Bosporus strait and prevent accidents. While the number of vessels using the strait has been in decline for several years, their size and weight are increasing.
Citizens forking out for ghost ships
When Erdoğan claims that more and more cargo ships are passing through the Bosporus he's manipulating the people, T24 criticises:
“Since 2007 the number of ships passing through has been constantly diminishing. ... The president has either been terribly misled or he thinks we're all children and is trying to trick us. ... In addition to the money we pay for bridges which are not crossed by any vehicles, we will now have to pay for ships that do not pass under those bridges.”
Not even the government believes in it
Karar sees the construction of the canal as unrealistic:
“Presumably, a certain amount of money from the 'treasury' will be spent on this project in the near future. But under the given economic conditions, it seems impossible that enough funds can be raised. ... What's more, the government itself has long since given up the dream of realising this project. The only reason Erdoğan is still saying that they'll build the canal 'whether [the opposition] likes it or not,' is that he can't very well say 'we've given up on the project'. ... Because backing down would be tantamount to a political defeat and would lead to a serious loss of face.”