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Bosphorus canal construction plan divides Istanbul (Part 1)

Audio 05:56
The Bosphorus river is a major shipping route, Istanbul, Turkey.
The Bosphorus river is a major shipping route, Istanbul, Turkey. REUTERS/Murad Sezer

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is planning what is being called the construction project of the decade, a massive canal connecting Turkey's Sea of Marmara to the Black Sea.

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The canal will provide an alternative route to the Bosphorus, one of the world’s busiest waterways, which divides the city of Istanbul.

Erdogan claims the project will save Istanbul from potential catastrophe posed by supertankers passing its shores.

But there is a growing groundswell against the project, with fears of social and ecological disaster.

Correspondent Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul in this first report of a two-part series.

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