Turkish company receives millions in tenders after preparing Kanal Istanbul environmental report

After preparing a widely-criticized environmental impact analysis (EIA) for the controversial Kanal Istanbul project, Çınar Engineering and Consulting Company has been awarded public tenders worth at least 14 million Turkish Liras.

Citizens protest against the controversial Kanal Istanbul project during a demonstration in this file photo.

Duvar English

Public tenders abound for Çınar Engineering and Consulting, the company that prepared a faulty Environmental Impact Analysis (EIA) for the controversial Kanal Istanbul project. The company in the past two years received tenders worth 14 million Turkish Liras from public institutions, daily Birgün reported on Jan. 23. 

Kanal Istanbul is a proposed marine way linking the Marmara and Black Seas through the outskirts of Istanbul that opposition and environmental protection groups vehemently oppose. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has made it a capstone project of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), while experts say that it will lead to an environmental “massacre.”

Çınar Engineering and Consulting Company is directly complicit in the government’s efforts to push through the project despite its negative environmental impact. The company was tasked with preparing an EIA for the project starting in 2018, and experts say the resulting report did not abide by scientific principles and was riddled with deficiencies.

Despite this, the Ministry of Environment, Urbanization, and Climate Change approved the report on Jan. 17, 2020.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has famously said he will build the canal at all costs. “It is my dream and we will do it out of spite,” he said of the project. 

This is not the first project for which Çınar has received public funding. In the past twelve years, from 2011 through the end of 2021, the company received 49 public tenders totaling 38 million liras. The company is one of the most well-funded by the government in terms of public works projects.

The company has also been instrumental in pushing through other environmentally destructive projects in the past. EIAs for both the Afşin Thermal Power Plant and its affiliated landfill were prepared by Çınar and greenlit by the government. Despite gold-star ratings by the companies, experts say both projects have led to enormous levels of environmental degradation.