Istanbul residents have been flocking to the Istanbul Provincial Environment and Urbanization Directorate for the last two days to file appeals against the controversial Kanal Istanbul project, which foresees an artificial sea-level waterway across the city from the Black Sea to Marmara Sea.
The planned project, known as the “Crazy Project,” is currently available for public comment regarding its potential environmental effects.
On Dec. 23, the Environment and Urbanization Ministry announced that the project's Environmental Impact Assessment (ÇED) report was completed and would be open for public review for 10 days. Accordingly, Istanbul residents will be able to submit their recommendations regarding the project at either the ministry or its Istanbul directorate until Jan. 2, 2020.
The controversial project has been one of the main topics of discussion among Turkish politicians, with the opposition slamming it for paving the way for “unearned income” at the expense of the environment.
The project has been on the government’s agenda since 2011, but its realization has been delayed several times due to financial problems and environmental concerns.
On Dec. 25, Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu outlined 15 reasons to oppose the planned projecting, saying the canal would be an environmental disaster.
“Kanal Istabul is a murder project. It is a project of disaster. Regardless of to whom promises were made, to whom unearned incomes were promised, it should be cancelled,” İmamoğlu said during a press conference.