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Questions persist as Canal Istanbul construction begins

We have to hope Ankara has developed contingency plans for the potential political, economic, environmental and especially geostrategic consequences of the Canal Istanbul project.
TURKEY - APRIL 04: Bulk carrier freight container ship China Shipping Line in River Bosphorus and Sea of Marmara, Istanbul, Republic of Turkey (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)

Preliminary boring and excavation have begun on Canal Istanbul, something Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has described as one of his “crazy projects." Opponents agree with that assessment.

The massive project will connect the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea, which the Bosporus Strait already does. But the new canal is designed to alleviate congestion in the strait. The waterway is expected to cost $17 billion, though some estimates run much higher. The channel will measure around 45 kilometers (28 miles) in length and 150 meters (490 feet) in width, and will run between Istanbul’s Arnavutkoy-Avcilar districts. Boring began Jan. 9.

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