Red Alert: Prime Minister Erdoğan’s Kanal Istanbul Threatens International Ecology!

Erdoğan’ın Kanal İstanbul Projesi uluslarası ekolojik hayatı tehdit ediyor.

Some scientists argue that Erdoğan’s project will severely harm the Mediterranean and Black Seas.


Regardless of whether either of these routes, or another one, are chosen for Kanal Istanbul, it remains a dangerous project for both the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. Photo: Courtesy of Tarık Günersel.

The Turkish government, controlled by the Justice and Development Party (AKP), has announced that it will soon begin construction on Kanal Istanbul, a canal project announced by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in 2011.

Istanbul is on both the European and Asian sides of the Bosphorus, which is a natural channel that connects the Black Sea to the Marmara, Aegean, and Mediterranean Seas.

Life is words in action, literature is action in words.

Humans are about to destroy their spaceship Earth. Some of them are aware of this and they try to change the course of events. Will they succeed? Will more humans be alarmed and do something?

Literature is vital and translators are messengers of world peace.

Though I shall focus on the literary scene in Turkey and its problems regarding freedom of expression, I shall not omit the other parts of our planet. Today local is global and vice versa.

Tarık Günersel is a poet, playwright, aphorist, librettist and short story writer. He is the president of PEN Turkey and an ex-member of the PEN International Board. He studied English Literature at Istanbul University. A self-exile after the military coup in 1980, he spent four years in Saudi Arabia with his wife Füsun and their daughter Barış, teaching English. A dramaturg at Istanbul City Theater since 1991, he has acted on stage and screen and directed some of his plays. He proposed World Poetry Day in 1997 which was accepted by PEN International and declared by UNESCO as the 21st of March. His translations into Turkish include works by Samuel Beckett, Vaclav Havel and Arthur Miller. His works include The Nightmare of a Labyrinth (mosaic of poems and stories), and How’s your slavery goin’? His Oluşmak (To Become), a “life guide for myself,” includes ideas from world wisdom of the past four millennia.

The proposed channel will be constructed somewhere in Thrace, between the Bosphorus and the city of Edirne, which is near the Bulgarian and Greek borders of Turkey. Two possible routes for the channel have been mapped so far, but neither of them has been declared the official route.

Two scientists, Cemal Saydam of Hacettepe University and Etham Gönenç of Istanbul Technical University, have reported the terrible consequences of Erdogan’s canal:

-The new channel will increase the salinity of the Marmara Sea and severely decrease its oxygen levels.

-Lack of oxygen will end marine life in the Marmara Sea. It is predicted that the Marmara and Bosphorus will suffer from the smell of sulphur. In time the ecology of the Black Sea will also be harmed.

-The part of Thrace that lies between the new channel and the Bosphorus will become an island. The underground water sources that exist there will be replaced by sea water.

– Once put in place, the Kanal Istanbul will be irreversible. The AKP government controls mainstream media and misinforms the public about the project, but its dangerous impact is not limited to the people of Turkey. It will have international effects. Other countries on the Black and the Mediterranean Seas should protest this project.

Turkey’s Minister of Transportation and Communication, Binali Yıldırım, has refrained from mentioning any critical scientific reports. He merely mentions that the channel project is not incompatible with the Montreux Convention.

Now is the time for international scientific and environmental communities to join forces against this hazardous project, pushed by PM Erdoğan and his AKP-controlled government.

via Red Alert: Prime Minister Erdoğan’s Kanal Istanbul Threatens International Ecology! | Sampsonia Way Magazine.

Envisioning The City Of The Future As A Man-Made Island

Envisioning The City Of The Future As A Man-Made Island

Take an exclusive first tour of Dror Benshetrit’s hilly, floating metropolis for 300,000 residents.

Dror Benshetrit’s body of work is staggeringly diverse. In his studio’s portfolio, you’ll find a hard-shell suitcase that expands like an accordion, a line of modular dorm-room furniture designed for Target, and a proposal for the National Library of Israel that looks like a tall, skinny pyramid some rude giant pushed onto its side. The QuaDror, which Benshetrit unveiled last year, showed the designer’s interest in exploring the most fundamental components of architecture and engineering; it’s a little bit hard to describe, so I’ll defer to Linda Tischler’s explanation of “Ingenious Building Gizmo.” But if the QuaDror showed Benshetrit at his most practical and elemental, his more recent project is a complete 180. HavvAda is Benshetrit’s proposal for a man-made island community off the coast of Istanbul, Turkey, and it’s nothing short of a complete re-imagining of the city as we know it.

For the last 500 years, Benshetrit explained to me, every century or so, someone in Turkey has contrived the construction of a new canal between the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara. The latest dreamer is Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, whose proposed Istanbul Canal foreesees completion sometime around 2023. Building such a massive waterway would require digging up a massive amount of dirt–in this case, somewhere in the ballpark of a billion cubic meters of the stuff. Where would it all go? That’s precisely what a developer commissioned Benshetrit to figure out.

His answer is HavvAda, a man-made island comprised of six hills of varying sizes, each supported by a geodesic dome with residential homes on their outside and communal and commercial spaces on the inside. These six “micro-environments,” as Benshetrit calls them, surround a valley intended for parks and other recreational spaces. From a distance, as seen in the renderings, the island straddles the line between organic and artificial–HavvAda’s hills are a little too perfectly sculpted to be natural, but they’re certainly more pleasing to the eye than, say, six big apartment complexes.

One possibility that arises from the island’s arrangement is a move to an entirely new form of urban model: a 3-D grid, as opposed to the 2-D one on which our cities currently operate. Instead of reaching up into the sky vertically, buildings wrap around the domes horizontally. The idea is that, in addition to being more structurally efficient, the domes would share infrastructure. With a 3-D grid, Benshetrit said, “instead of each being a selfish, independent building, all the buildings are supporting one another in both structure and infrastructure.”

The 3-D grid is just one of the ways HavvAda looks to solve some of the problems faced by sprawling metropolises. “Istanbul is a gorgeous city,” Benshetrit said, “but it’s suffering from the same problem that every large, dense, multimillion- resident city has today: enormous traffic, crazy pollution. It’s just a concrete jungle, as we call most of our cities at that scale.” In creating HavvAda, Benshetrit worked with a team of architects, urban planners, engineers, and other experts to identify these central issues and explore some bold ways to solve them. But in addition to loftier goals like sustainability, HavvAda also was designed to alleviate some of the day-to-day frustrations of city living. Ideally, Benshetrit explained to me, you should be able to get from any point in a city to any other point in 12 minutes. One of the advantages of arranging the six domes around a common center area is that such movement throughout the island becomes feasible; HavvAda’s proposed transportation includes a system of walkways and cable cars. Granted, HavvAda would only be about a quarter of the size of Manhattan and hold some 300,000 people, making it a more manageable urban scenario from the start.

Benshetrit’s quick to admit that HavvAda is more about offering a vision than putting forward a nuts-and-bolts plan of action–he deems it an “evolving proposal”–and he says that one can only go so far in prescribing the form that vision might eventually take. When you’re designing a product or even a single building, he explained, you go into it with some sense of what it will look like, what sort of details you need to consider in its creation. HavvAda is a bit different. “It’s not a full product,” he said, “it’s just a canvas, a motherboard for other designers and other architects to make different storefronts, different types of structures, to make different types of gardens and paths and things like that.” It’s not really the city of the future; it’s more like a blueprint for one. Still, not bad for a big pile of dirt.

HavvAda will debut this weekend during the kickoff of Istanbul design week.

via 1 | Envisioning The City Of The Future As A Man-Made Island | Co.Design: business + innovation + design.

Canal Istanbul to be real in six years, minister claims

Transportation Minister Binali Yıldırım praised the Cancal Istanbul project yesterday at the First Marmara and Black Sea Conference in Istanbul, saying it would be finalized in five to six years, and that the project was aimed at protecting the Bosphorus.

“Of the 50,000 ships that pass through the Bosphorus, 9,500 carry dangerous materials. The total weight of these materials is 150 million tons,” said Yıldırım, adding that if there was an accident the consequences could be disastrous. He explained that it was not possible to expand the borders of the Bosphorus and that protecting the waterway was a top priority.

“Canal Istanbul is a project that is very important to us. Once it is completed, we will have a waterway on which we will be able to completely control the traffic on the Bosphorus,” said Yıldırım. He also added that the Canal Istanbul Project would benefit oil tankers that currently lose money due to the congestion as they wait to enter the Bosphorus.

“We plan to complete this project in five to six years and we are currently working on the plans,” said Yıldırım.

According to Yıldırım, once every 40 hours one of the tankers crossing the Bosphorus faces a mechanical problem, and it is only due to strict controls that there have been no major incidents over the past ten years.

via LOCAL – Canal Istanbul to be real in six years, minister claims.

The Crazy Project – Canal Istanbul

Trimestrale del Laboratorio
Territorio Mobilità e Ambiente – TeMALab
ISSN 1970-9870
Vol 4 – No 3 – settembre 2011 – pagg. 53-63
Dipartimento di Pianificazione e Scienza del Territorio
Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II
© Copyright dell’autore.

It was late April 2011 when the Canal Istanbul Project has been proposed by the Prime Minister (PM) Erdogan. The origins of the canal idea traces back through the 16 th
century, during the Ottoman reign that the PM emphasized in his speech as “… a dream comes true…”
Although an alternative sea route used to be a necessity for the transportation of timbers during the Ottoman Empire, this contemporary project targets great alterations in economic growth and to enhance the strategic position of Turkey in the global arena. The Canal Istanbul Project is grandiose not only because of its objectives, but also of the location choice, the financial model to be used in construction and because it provokes international maritime conventions. Since the facts on the Canal Istanbul Project are just referred to the speech of the PM Erdogan during the election campaign, in this paper, we speculate on the
probable features of the Canal related to the current situation and assets of Istanbul. Next chapter focuses on the scope and motivation of the Canal Istanbul. Hereby, the speech of the PM has been mostly decoded in order to better presume basic reasoning of the canal. The following chapter underlines challenges and limitations on the realization of the project. The chapter four covers several speculations we developed on the implementation
approach of the project. A critical question arises at the chapter five such as “Istanbul will be a winner or loser due to the canal project?”.

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Turkey’s Erdogan Promotes Plan to Build Istanbul Canal

June 10 (Bloomberg) — Josh Bassett reports on proposals to build a 30 mile (48 kilometer) waterway through west Istanbul to spur development, backed by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan ahead of this weekend’s election. (/Bloomberg)

via Turkey’s Erdogan Promotes Plan to Build Istanbul Canal – The Washington Post.