Aim of Canal İstanbul Project

The Bosphorus, through which approximately 43,000 ships pass annually, is a natural waterway with the narrowest point of 698 m. The increase in tonnages in ship traffic, the growth of ship sizes because of technological developments, and especially the increase in ship (tanker) crossings carrying fuel oil and other similar dangerous/toxic substances pose great pressure and threat to Istanbul.

There are sharp turns that put waterway transportation at risk in the Bosphorus, strong currents, and urban sea traffic that intersects steeply with transit ship traffic. Hundreds of thousands of residents live on both sides of the Bosphorus. The Bosphorus is a place of trade, life, and passage for millions of Instabilities during the day. The Bosphorus is becoming more dangerous every year in terms of the risks posed by the passing ship traffic. The number of annual ship crossings, which was 3-4 thousand 100 years ago, has increased and today it has reached 45-50 thousand. Due to the one-way traffic organization implemented to increase navigational safety, the average waiting time in the Bosphorus for large ships is approximately 14.5 hours for each ship caught in standby. The waiting time can sometimes take up to 3-4 days or even weeks depending on the ship traffic and weather conditions, sometimes due to an accident or malfunction.

In this context, it has become imperative to plan an alternative transit corridor to the Bosphorus. With Canal Istanbul, safe travel will be provided for our people by preventing the risks of potentially fatal accidents that will be created by the 90-degree steep intersections of the ships transiting with the city lines that travel 500 thousand passengers per day. At the same time, it will be possible to increase the share of the sea route in urban transportation.

In this context, the aim of the Canal Istanbul Project is,

  1. Protecting the historical and cultural texture of the Bosphorus and increasing its security,
  2. Reducing the load on the Bosphorus primarily from maritime traffic and increasing the security of the Bosphorus.
  3. Ensuring the traffic safety of the Bosphorus,
  4. Ensuring the safety of navigation,
  5. Creation of a new waterway open to international maritime traffic.
  6. Considering a possible Istanbul earthquake, the creation of a modern earthquake-resistant residential area is based on horizontal architecture.


Canal Istanbul Route

To determine the route of the Canal Istanbul Project, 5 different alternative corridors were studied. The environmental impacts of alternative ways and their effects on surface water and soil resources, groundwater resources, transportation networks, and cultural and natural assets were examined. In addition, the cost and duration of construction are compared.

The corridors were compared by using a type of cross-section, which is determined as the largest concept ship circulating in the world seas from Kanal Istanbul, with a length of 275 meters, a maximum draft of 17 meters, and an average of 145,000 tons, to allow the passage of tankers, and the route following Küçükçekmece Lake – Sazlıdere Dam – Terkos east was determined as the most suitable corridor.

Sections and Dimensions of Canal İstanbul Project

The length of the channel will be about 45 km, the base width will be a minimum of 275 meters, and the depth will be 20.75 meters. Improvements can be made in project dimensions by taking into account regional developments and projections that may benefit our country’s geopolitical and strategic superiority, socio-economy, employment, and security, and carry our country to 2040 and 2071 targets.

Completion Time of Canal İstanbul Project

After the tender process, the preparatory work before the canal’s construction will take about 1.5 years. The construction of the canal is expected to take 5.5 years. The completion period of the project is planned as 7 years under normal conditions.

Total Cost of Canal Istanbul

The cost of canal construction is estimated at TL 75 billion (as of the exchange rate at the time when the Environmental Impact Assessment Report was prepared). The total cost of the project is $ 15 billion. The project is for the protection of the historical texture of Istanbul, the safety and security of Instabilities, and the benefit of our country. This is too valuable to be measured in a monetary magnitude. The volume of international trade that we will achieve when it is implemented and the increase in the strategic importance of our country cannot be evaluated in monetary terms.

Population and New Settlement Area

With the Canal Istanbul Project, two smart cities based on horizontal architecture will be built that will make Istanbul breathe with its traffic, social facilities, and green areas. The maximum projected population in the region is 500,000 people.

In these new residential areas, low-density housing areas dominated by low-rise (maximum 4-5 floors) horizontal architecture in the neighborhood concept and commercial, official institution, coastal facilities, urban regional social reinforcement areas serving these residential areas, urban regional green and sports fields, university area, technology development zone, tourism area, eco-tourism area, health tourism area, congress and fair area and logistics region areas.

Due to these settlement areas, the population of Istanbul is not expected to increase. It is evaluated that the population to be in the settlement areas will be located here within the scope of the population currently residing in Istanbul.


The earthquake occurs as a result of tectonic movements of hundreds of km thick plates that make up the earth’s crust. It is not possible for a shallow construction of 20.75 m deep to trigger these masses hundreds of kilometers thick. No man-made project (subways, bridges, shopping malls with deep basements, etc.) is different from this.

In addition, there are no active fault lines on the Canal Istanbul route. The North Anatolian Fault Line passes 11 kilometers from Canal Istanbul and the Çınarcık fault line passes 30 kilometers away. It is not possible for Canal Istanbul to cause any seismic movement in terms of both the excavation/fill volume and the water volume in the channel.

However, in the earthquake situationally analyzes within the scope of Canal Istanbul, the 2475-year recurring earthquake period was examined, and the earthquake acceleration was calculated according to the largest earthquake that could occur and the Channel design was made according to this acceleration calculation.

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