Turkey probes Istanbul mayor in fight over ‘crazy’ canal

Turkey probes Istanbul mayor in fight over ‘crazy’ canal
The proposed $9.8-billion alternative canal would run to the west of Bosphorus Strait along a new 45-kilometer route to relieve pressure on one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes. (AFP)
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Updated 16 November 2020

Turkey probes Istanbul mayor in fight over ‘crazy’ canal

Turkey probes Istanbul mayor in fight over ‘crazy’ canal
  • Proposed $9.8-billion alternative would run to the west of the Bosphorus along a new 45-kilometer route

ISTANBUL: Turkey’s interior ministry has launched a probe into the Istanbul mayor over his opposition to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s dream of building an alternative to the Bosphorus Strait, the mayor’s spokesman said Monday.
Erdogan argues that the new Istanbul canal, which he has dubbed one of his “crazy projects,” would relieve pressure on one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.
The Bosphorus creates a border between Europe and Asia, splitting Istanbul in two as it runs between the Black and Marmara Seas.
The proposed $9.8-billion alternative would run to the west of the Bosphorus along a new 45-kilometer route.
Istanbul mayor Ekrem Imamoglu, whose election last year saw Erdogan’s ruling AK Party lose its 25-year grip on Turkey’s largest city, has been a vocal opponent of the project on financial and environmental grounds.
Since his victory, the municipality has broadcast videos on underground trains and put up posters against “Canal Istanbul.”
The investigation by the ministry’s property inspectorate is focused on posters containing the phrases, “Either Canal or Istanbul” and “Who needs Canal Istanbul?,” Imamoglu’s spokesman Murat Ongun tweeted.
The investigation was started on the grounds that the posters violated articles of the constitution prohibiting public resources from being used against “the integrity of the administration and state policy,” Ongun said.
Critics say the project would destroy nature and could even worsen the earthquake risk in the city of more than 15 million people.


Death toll now 130 in tribal conflict in Darfur

Death toll now 130 in tribal conflict in Darfur
Updated 27 min 12 sec ago

Death toll now 130 in tribal conflict in Darfur

Death toll now 130 in tribal conflict in Darfur

JEDDAH: The death toll in a new tribal conflict in Sudan rose to 130 on Monday as clashes in West Darfur spread south.
At least 47 people were killed in South Darfur after 83 died and tens of thousands were displaced in West Darfur in the previous two days. It was the worst violence since a peace agreement last October raised hopes of an end to years of war.
Sudan has been undergoing a fragile transition since the removal from power of dictator Omar Bashir in April 2019 after mass protests against his rule.
The new bloodshed followed the end of the joint UN-African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur on Dec. 31.
The aid group Save the Children warned: “In the chaos, we fear many children will have been separated from their parents, and will now be at risk of exploitation.” Its Sudan country director Arshad Malik said the many wounded had overwhelmed health centers, and injured and dying people were lying on the floors and corridors of hospitals.
“We call on all parties to the violence in West Darfur to lay down their arms immediately, before the situation gets out of control,” he said.
Authorities in Khartoum said they had sent a delegation to contain the situation. The UN secretary-general’s spokesman Stephane Dujarric urged them to “bring an end to the fighting.”