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Turkish company to construct Istanbul channel

By Messenger Staff
Monday, May 2
On April 27, the Turkish PM revealed the idea of building a new channel connecting the Black and Marmaris seas called the Istanbul channel. This passage would be 150 meters wide and 25 deep, and it is presumed that it would be constructed in the northern part of Istanbul which would be the biggest project implemented there in the 21st century. The estimated price of the project is USD 10 bln and the Turkish side has already started negotiations with an Italian company. So far the Marmaris and Black seas are connected only via the Bosporus but it is narrow and cannot serve heavy traffic so there are often delays in transportation. Due to the frustration this causes there are many accidents. As Turkish press informs, to implement this project Turkey needs Russian consent because according to the so called Montreux convention there are certain regulations concerning entry to the Black Sea by military vessels. By the way this document prevented in August 2008 the entry of the US navy into the Black Sea during the Russian invasion of Georgia. This convention puts certain conditions on entry to the Black Sea but if a new channel is opened, the Montreux convention will lose its importance as this new channel will give an alternative route to enter the Black Sea which obviously has not been mentioned in this convention and this will give Turkey the opportunity to control the balance of power in the region. But again this could only be taking place if Russia and Turkey agree on this project.