Construction of a shipping channel in the Bosphorus will start in June

ISTANBUL - Turkey will begin construction in June on a canal along Istanbul that should become an alternative to shipping in the Bosphorus. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said this this weekend. The project is worth $15 billion.

The 45-kilometer-long canal will be located west of Istanbul and will connect the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara. The new waterway should relieve busy shipping in the Bosphorus and reduce the risk of accidents. About 50,000 ships pass through the strait that separates the European and Asian parts of Istanbul every year and is quite narrow at certain points. For example, many Russian oil tankers sail in the Bosphorus.

In April, ten retired Turkish admirals were arrested for criticizing the canal along with nearly 100 other former naval officers. Well, then you know in what kind of country you are living. A few months ago he called in style the Dutch Nazis and Fascists. He is a real nice guy.

No mention yet about tolls but that is yet to come…

The Bosporus is an international waterway; open to ships of all nations.

This new canal will be a Turkish waterway; open to all… as long as they like Erdogan.

We, as Nazis and Fascists, will not be welcome.

The waterway could undermine the 1936 Montreux Convention. That treaty is an international regulation of navigation in the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles and guarantees, among other things, the free passage for civilian shipping in peacetime and limits the passage of naval ships from countries not located on the Black Sea. Erdogan says he will continue to support the treaty, but also said warships could start using the Istanbul Canal.

He probably has something up his sleeve…


Even taking into account the Montreux Convention this seems totally pointless and a colossal waste of money.

Perhaps it is being secretly funded by another nation such as China who want their military vessels access to the Black Sea, but I can’t see why the Chinese would spend so much to gain military access to the red sea.

whats the water height difference between the 2 seas?

The differential range of the monthly mean sea levels between the Black Sea and the Marmara Sea is highly variable; high during spring and early summer and low during fall and winter. On the average, there is a pronounced sea - level difference (55 cm) along the Turkish Straits System.

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I am not an expert in flows through the Turkish Straits.
However, some logical thinking leads to see a general current, over the years, from the Black Sea into the Mediterranean Sea, and therefore, a slightly higher level in the Black sea.

The loss of water volume by evaporation in the Mediterranean is much higher than in the Black Sea.

The Black Sea has inputs of fresh water from major rivers (Danube, Dnieper, Don…).
The Mediterranean has only seasonal inflows from streams, if ever; the Nile River being the major one.
The Po River into the Adriatic Sea (Italy) and the Rhone River into the Western Mediterranean (France) are much smaller and extremely seasonal. The western North African rivers are all either dry or with rare high floods for a few days.

Through the Gibraltar Strait is the major, continuous inflow from the Atlantic into the Mediterranean. A much lesser one is through the Turkish Straits.

The general continental wind directions should mainly guide the seasonal differences of MSL between the Southwestern Black Sea and the Greek Aegean Sea.
During the summer months the Northern flow into the Aegean is prevailing (the force 8/10 ‘Meltemi’ over many weeks or months); during the winter there is generally a much slower Southern flow into the Black Sea.

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the water rips through Istanbul, been pleasure boating there a few times

I have never sailed through there myself and do not have access to the BA Sailing Directions for the area, but here is a long and detailed article that MAY clear up some questions about the current in the Strait:

Thick layers of the viscous, slimy mucus colloquially known as “sea snot”have been wreaking havoc along Turkey’s coastline for months, choking harbors and clogging up fishermen’s nets while suffocating marine life.

Untreated waste dumped into the Marmara Sea and climate change had caused the bloom of the thick, slimy substance made up of compounds released by marine organisms. Turkey plans to vacuum up the thick layer of sea snot. Marine biologists in the mean time claim that the Sea of Marmara is sick.

At some places along our coastline we now also experience sea snot. They try to stop it reaching the shore with anchored screens so that bathers are not affected.

Last year five very experienced and very fit young surfers lost their lives due to up to two meters of foam whipped up by a strong northerly wind. You cannot breath and are disorientated by the zero visibility.

Additional information.

The current pattern in the Bosporus is complicated by the fact that there is a permanent flow of water in both directions at the same time; as in the Strait of Gibraltar.

At the bottom of the straits, the very salty and heavy waters of the Mediterranean Sea flow out below the incoming less salty (about half of the salt content for the Black Sea) and lighter adjacent waters.

However, these straits do not play in the same category:
The Camarinal Sill at Gibraltar is at -280 meter, with a width of the strait, at the sill, of some 15 miles.
The sill in the Bosporus is at -36 meter, with a width of half a mile. They write about an outflow to the Black Sea of 350 km^3/a and an inflow of 500 km^3/a.

The two water masses do not mix, but the rocky and tortuous bottom of the Bosporus leads to turbulences at the layer separation with implications at the surface…