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Turkey: Erdogan Pushing for Black Sea-Marmara Canal

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan appears to see the construction of a canal near Istanbul that would link the Black and Marmara seas as a lynchpin of his political legacy. But political experts and economists are viewing the project with caution, worrying that it could have a destabilizing impact on existing energy and security arrangements.

At a project presentation in April, featuring techno music and flashing lights, Prime Minister Erdoğan predicted that his “dream” project “will outshine the Panama and Suez canals.” It will be, he said, “one of the biggest projects of the century.”

In truth, the scale of the planned Istanbul canal is well short of both the Suez and Panama routes, but at 48 kilometers long, it would still represent a mammoth engineering feat. The canal, to be dug just west of Istanbul, would provide an alternative to the Bosphorus waterway for accessing the Mediterranean Sea.

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Dorian Jones is a freelance journalist living in Turkey.

Turkey: Erdogan Pushing for Black Sea-Marmara Canal

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