History of the Istanbul Canal

Istanbul Canal is a waterway project on the European side of Istanbul designed to extend from the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara. Although similar versions were suggested in the past, the Istanbul Canal project was announced in 2011 by then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The history of the alternative waterway project to the Bosphorus goes back to the Roman Empire. The Sakarya River Transport Project was mentioned for the first time in the correspondence between Bitinya Governor Plinius and Emperor Trajan. ( Characteristics of Istanbul Canal )

The idea of connecting the Black Sea and Marmara with an artificial strait has been on the agenda 6 times since the 16th century. One of the three major projects planned by the Ottoman State in the mid-1500s was to connect the Sakarya River and Sapanca Lake to the Black Sea and Marmara. . It came to the fore in 1550 during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent. Although the two great architects of the period, Mimar Sinan and Nicola Parisi, started preparations, the realization of this project was canceled due to wars. A canal project in the west of Istanbul was proposed for the first time in an article published in August 1990 in TÜBİTAK’s Science and Technology magazine. The title of the article written by Yüksel Önem, the Consultant of the Ministry of Energy of the period, was “I Think of the Istanbul Canal”. The Istanbul Canal, which will start from Büyükçekmece Lake and pass through the west of Terkos Lake, is designed as 47 km in length, 100 m in width on the water surface and 25 m in depth. In 1994, Bülent Ecevit proposed opening a canal between the Black Sea and the Marmara on the European side of Istanbul. And the project was included in the election brochures of DSP under the name “Bosphorus and DSP’s Canal Project”. ( A Brief History of the Panama Canal )

One thought on “History of the Istanbul Canal

  • September 17, 2020 at 3:01 pm

    The project needs 10 years more if they start tomorrow. Project is good for Turkish people but it has very very big cost for their economy. Ciao


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