Duvar English

The land owned by the mother of Qatar Emir, Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, on the route of the controversial Kanal Istanbul project was designated as a “tourism-trade area.”

The Environment and Urbanization Ministry recently prepared the construction plans regarding the area surrounding Kanal Istanbul, which seeks to carve out an artificial shipping canal on the outskirts of the European side of Istanbul in order to alleviate traffic from the Bosphorus Strait.

According to the plans, Moza’s 44-acre agricultural land was designated as a “tourism-trade area,” daily Sözcü reported on July 13.

The plan allows the Qataris to make 22,000-meter-square construction on the land, of which 30 percent is served for trade.

Business centers, malls, hotels, offices, bureaus, restaurants, banks and finance institutions will be able to be constructed, according to the plan.

Dubbed the “crazy project,” Kanal Istanbul has been on the government’s agenda since 2011, but its realization has been delayed several times due to financial problems and environmental concerns.

Environmentalists and experts have warned that the ambitious project would create for disastrous environmental consequences.

If completed, the artificial seaway will be a 43-kilometer-long and 400-meter-wide canal crossed by six bridges.

It’s common for Qataris to purchase land in Turkey.

Sheikha Moza on Nov. 8, 2018 founded Triple M Real Estate Tourism and Trade Co., with Munira bint Nasser, wife of Qatar’s former deputy prime minister Abdullah bin Hamad al Attiyah, holding 31.8 of its shares.

The company then purchased the land on Kanal Istanbul route, which was seen to be designated as “agricultural land” at the time.

Real estate experts told Sözcü that the value of the lot owned by Triple M is expected to increase significantly with the plans.

The area was also preserved for medical tourism.