Some called it the project of the era, while others strongly opposed the project to build the new Istanbul Canal. What are the reasons for each of the parties? And what is the investment importance of this project for the Turkish real estate market? We will discuss all of this after giving a quick introduction to the project.
The idea of establishing a second marine channel parallel to the Bosphorus Strait linking the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea is an old idea dating back to the Ottoman era, where several Ottoman sultans tried to establish this project and it was postponed several times, and in the modern era, Recep Tayyip Erdogan proposed the project again on April 7, 2011 and when he took office The Presidency of the Republic announced the official laying of the foundation stone for the first of the canal bridges in the sixth month of 2021, thus starting the construction of the Istanbul Canal project, which he called the Asr Project.
What are the specifications of the new Istanbul Canal?
This channel will be 47 km long and 21 meters deep. The width of the channel from the surface will be 375 meters, while the width of the bottom will be 275 meters. This in turn ensures the passage of all types of ships except for the largest type of tankers.
This canal will pass starting from the Kucukcekmece region, passing through Avcilar, passing through Basaksehir, and finally Arnavutköy at the Black Sea, thus being near the new airport at the same time. The O7 highway that connects western and eastern Istanbul through the third bridge, Sultan Yavuz Selim Bridge.
What is the cost of building the new Istanbul Canal and the time period required for that?
The Istanbul Canal project will include the construction of 6 new bridges to connect its two sides, in addition to 3 underground tunnels. The total cost of this is about $15 billion and will be established in cooperation between companies from the public and private sectors.
As for the time period required for this, assuming that the foundation reservation has been made to start the project, and assuming that there are no obstacles that cause the project to stop, this project will need to be ready approximately 7 years, which is a not short period of time for real estate investment as we will discuss later.
What are the advantages of establishing the new Istanbul Canal?
- Every day, about 135 ships pass through the Bosphorus to transport goods and oil, except for transport ships, cruise ships, and private ones. Therefore, there is a great burden on the strait, and ships sometimes have to wait for several weeks in order for them to pass through. Therefore, establishing a parallel channel to the strait will have a major role in relieving pressure on the one hand. On the other hand, work more efficiently.
- Reducing the pollution that the Bosporus is exposed to from the leakage that occurs in oil tankers in particular, and the pollution due to its congestion with ships in general. With the construction of the new Istanbul Canal, ships carrying dangerous materials will be sent to pass through the new canal, and this will contribute to maintaining a healthy environment in the Bosphorus and life Navy .
- Reducing the accidents that occur in the Bosphorus due to the intensity of the movement of passing ships, as well as transport ships between the two sides of the strait and private ships. .
- Under the Montreux Treaty, Turkey is not allowed to give permission for the passage of warships into the Black Sea from countries outside the Black Sea Basin. If the Istanbul Canal is established, Turkey will have the freedom to control the movement of warships between the Mediterranean and the Black Sea
- The crossing from the new canal will be paid, and its construction will help allow more ships to cross through Turkey, and this is a return that is not insignificant, as it is possible from the wages of ships passing through the new canal to achieve a return of 10% of the construction costs, and so within 10 years the full costs can be recovered construction.
What are the negatives of establishing the new Istanbul Canal?
- It makes the European center of Istanbul, which is inhabited by more than 10 million people, an island bordered by the Bosphorus Strait in the west and the Istanbul Canal in the east. In the event of any kind of disaster, it will be isolated and difficult to save the population from.
- The passage of oil tankers within the canal does not mean the absence of pollution, but rather its transfer from the Bosphorus to the new canal, and also the possibility of accidents is greater because the width and depth of the canal are less
- The construction period of the canal, which is at least 7 years, will lead to a continuous high level of pollution in large sections of Istanbul
- The new canal will pass through the main water stores in Istanbul, and therefore in the event of a shortage of fresh water, it will be difficult to obtain it.
In conclusion, the project is between supporters and opponents, and it is mostly, according to the opinion of the majority of the Turkish people, that it is in the interest of the state and foreign investors at the expense of the people’s interest, and what concerns us is to discuss real estate investment on both sides of the new Istanbul Canal.
From the first sight, investors who are new to real estate investment in Istanbul will say that this project is an unrepeatable opportunity to get a property with a view of the new Bosphorus at prices that are certainly much cheaper than real estate overlooking the real Bosphorus, but we must realize these important points first:
1- The canal project, if there are no obstacles, it will be completed in 2028 and therefore after seven years from now and therefore this is a very long period for real estate investment in Istanbul, where the successful investment cycle is short-term from one to 3 years and therefore we have here two investment cycles that can be They are completed before the canal is established and after that the start of investment projects on both sides of the canal. Therefore, at the present time, we see that evaluating investment opportunities on both sides of the canal is a very early and unproductive issue, especially if the following is known:
2- The lands on both sides of the direct channel are licensed agricultural lands or have been completely sold and the only possible investment is to invest in lands suitable for construction and now after this we find that this opportunity is not currently available and therefore early investment near the Istanbul Canal is an option that is not available.
3- What is distinctive about the Bosphorus is that it is old, and palaces and houses were built on its two sides over the long eras, and therefore the presence of a new Bosphorus with dozens of new residential complexes, of course, will not match the scarcity or advantages of real Bosphorus properties, and therefore the offer will be large and this contradicts the principle of basic investment.
4- The Istanbul Canal project includes 6 bridges and 3 tunnels, and even if there are no beams that delay the delivery of the project in time, we really need 10 years to be completed in the best condition. The idea of investing in this property originally, so what if we are talking about a delay of at least 3 years.
5- Make sure that when the real estate investment on both sides of the canal becomes fruitful, you will find us the first sites that will deal with investment projects in detail with their real advantages that qualify them for that.