There have been noticeable warnings from seafarers regarding the Kanal Istanbul project, which has been on the agenda in recent days. Stating that the planned depth of the channel will not be sufficient for the passage of large tankers, the ship captains state that it will be very difficult to control the ships due to the high current velocity in the channel.
According to the news compiled by Erman Çimen from Yeniçağ Newspaper; “According to the data on the official website of the Kanal Istanbul Project, the width of the canal has been announced as minimum 275 meters, depth 20,75 meters and length approximately 45 km. Experienced seafarers made statements against this situation one after the other, but nobody highlighted and disputed their statements. However, this depth planned in the project was not sufficient for the passage of large tankers and it would be very difficult to control the ships due to the high speed of the current in the channel. Because in such a situation no ship would "listen to the helm" ...
Especially long-haul captains, the velocity of the surface current in the Bosphorus from the Black Sea to the Marmara - on mute days - generally 3-4 knots (3-4 nautical miles), strong northeastern and northern storms up to 7-8 knots. They stated that it was out. In the Istanbul Canal, which has a narrow velocity of current, on the other hand, since the water current will reach a flow of about 10 knots, no ship captain underlined that they will not want to go down at this speed. They explained that under these conditions, the tankers descending from the Black Sea to Marmara from the canal would not "listen to the rudder" due to the flowing of the water like a river, and in case of an emergency the ship would anchor, because the channel was concrete, none of their ships would do an iron scan, in other words, they would not listen to iron.
Master Captains also said that ULCC with a draft of 35 meters (ship draft - the remaining part of a ship under water), VLCC with a draft of 28 meters and Suezmax class with a draft of 23 meters pass through the channel at a depth of 20-25 meters and They emphasized that it is very difficult for them to maneuver and that in case of rudder lock, the ships cannot anchor in the canal with a concrete floor.
In this case, it turned out that the biggest argument of the defenders of Kanal Istanbul, that the ship traffic will be shifted to Kanal Istanbul for the security of the Bosphorus, is not true. Thus, it becomes clear that Kanal Istanbul will be the passageway for small boats navigating the canal that passes through a neighborhood created for the rich.
In his article in 2019, Habertürk writer Fatih Altaylı first spoke with the long-distance captains about the Kanal Istanbul project and shared their views with the following items:
DEPTH IS TOO INSUFFICIENT: TANKERS CANNOT PASS
“The depth of 25 meters of the channel is very insufficient. Today, tanker classes have a minimum water section of 20 meters, excluding coastal tankers. To be more precise, the draft of the largest tanker class, ULCCs is 35 meters, the draft of VLCCs is 28 meters, and the draft of Suezmax is 23 meters. Today, most of the oil transportation is carried out by these tankers. These are tankers that are dangerously large in the Bosphorus and these tankers cannot pass through a 25-meter deep channel. They probably won't make this channel for sand-bearing costers.
It is very difficult for ships to maneuver
The canal will carry the Black Sea water to Marmara. In other words, the water in the channel will be less salty Black Sea water. Since the buoyancy of this water is lower, the depth of 25 meters will be less than good. Because in this water, ships are submerged in more water.
The lengths of these tankers vary between 245 meters and 415 meters. If a single tanker malfunctions or crashes in the channel, if it hits the shore, the 200-meter wide channel will be blocked. It would be very, very difficult for tankers to maneuver in such a narrow channel.
CURRENT SPEED IS TOO HIGH
The velocity of the surface current in the Bosphorus from the Black Sea to the Marmara is generally around 3-4 knots. It gets faster in places, slows down and reverses in places. In strong northeastern storms, it goes up to 7-8 knots. That's why captains do not like the way from the Black Sea to the Marmara. This current speed makes it difficult to keep the ship on course. In a sense, it is downhill and the ship is difficult to control. In the channel, the current speed will be approximately 10 knots from the Black Sea towards the Marmara. No ship captain wants to go down at this speed. It is an incredibly difficult course. You cannot control the ship. To prevent this, you need to tie the ships down from the shore. In this case, full ships will not use this route, they will prefer the Bosphorus. In other words, ships presenting danger will pass through Istanbul again. Currently, the waiting time to cross the Bosphorus is not too long. Not many more than 24 hours. For very large ships, there is a wait when the weather conditions are not suitable, but this usually does not exceed 3-4 days. "
Özkan Gülkaynak, a sailor from İzmir, who made a world tour without using any electronic navigational equipment between 2006 and 2009 with his boat named KAYITSIZ III and waved the Turkish flag in the oceans, also drew attention to the fact that ships cannot anchor the canal with a concrete floor and said:
"HOW WILL THE SHIPS ANCHOR TO THE CONCRETE GROUND?"
“If Kanal Istanbul is built as mentioned, the current here will reach 10 knts under some conditions. Let's assume that a tanker 250 meters long in this gigantic current goes south at a speed of at least 5 miles to listen to the rudder. How will ship traffic be arranged in a channel with a total width of 15 m and 250 meters in the slightest error? When there is a problem, how will anchor be attached to the channel whose ground is concrete? Even a 10-meter boat can only stop after a few boat lengths, even when the full distance astern is hit. Thousands of tons of tanker can not hit a full distance astern anyway, even the shaft will be damaged, all equipment will be damaged, even if it hits, it cannot stand thousands of meters even in a flowless environment. "
"NO SHIP CAN LEAVE THE STRAIT AND SAIL FROM ANOTHER CHANNEL"
Captain Cihat Gündoğdu, the second generation grandson of Nusret mine ship commander İsmail Haki Bey, who has marked our recent history as one of the symbols of the Çanakkale Naval Wars, is also the reason why the channel is considered as an alternative in his social media post. Stating that the comments claiming to be a person were wrong, he said:
As far as I have seen, the defenders of the project state that the ships wait at anchor for 1 week in the Black Sea and the intensity is extremely high. Let's answer this first. This is a whopper.
Because the Northern and Southern traffic in the Straits is open except for limited visibility. Except for exceptional cases, only one-way pass is provided in the Bosphorus. Sector at the exit from South to North KadıköyOn landing from North to South, information is given when you are 2 hours away from the entrance to Sector Türkeli.
Bosphorus entrance time is given. Speed is adjusted accordingly. It is expected in Drift. Or it is anchored. The waiting period is maximum 12 hours if the ship does not have a navigational fault. Restricted visibility conditions are not included in this period… (Limited view: Visibility is below 2 knots…) Also, the waiting period of the ships for transit has been increased from 48 hours to 7 days. This means that there is no risk of deterioration of the transit.
In addition, there is no requirement for a guide for Montreux. Ships take guides if they wish. For this reason, no ship leaves a waterway where there is no waiting problem and does not sail from another channel. Those who sail in the Black Sea know. Northern winds are usually present at the entrance of the Bosphorus. Any channel to be opened will be constantly filled with the effect of this wind, which requires a continuous bottom scan and depth survey. Even a predictable density in future years is very serious.
"COMPARING WITH THE SÜWEYŞ CHANNEL"
Because these eyes have seen that Russia's Novaroski and Romania's Constanta ports, which are the biggest ports of the Black Sea, are full of 3/1… The low freight prices hit the sector a great blow. Let alone the increase in density, even Turkish shipowners have started to employ Filipino personnel because it costs less.
Finally, there are those who put this project on the same level with the Suez Canal. I laugh at them too. Because the channel in question connects the Red Sea and the Mediterranean. There is no second alternative. Without using this channel, a ship reaches the Red Sea, Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean after months of cruising.
"THIS COUNTRY CANNOT DO OTHER THAN BEING BACK"
This channel has recently been expanded. Expansion alone cost 5 billion dollars. The annual return of the channel covers this cost. Kanal Istanbul will do nothing but burden this country. I do not see its feasibility possible. It means giving America a candy and putting Russia in a veiled line. "