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The Pliny Canal - an ancient canal project

The Pliny Canal - an ancient canal project

“50 kilometers long, 150 meters wide and 25 meters deep - the project planned by the former Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, who is now president, is gigantic.

A canal west of Istanbul is supposed to relieve the Bosporus of shipping traffic. The prime minister announces the project shortly before the elections - he does not mention the costs (news in n-tv). Announced here as a great sensation in the media of the world, the idea itself is almost 2,000 years old, because the ancient Romans had already developed plans that should enable a safe and easier transport route bypassing the Bosphorus, even if the main ideas behind it Project today are different from what they were then.

The Pliny Canal from 111 AD

Letters from the town councillor of Bithynia Pliny to the Roman emperor Trajan, which have survived to this day, expressly show that the construction of such a canal was seriously considered. The main idea for both great politicians of the time was to circumnavigate the dangerous Bosporus through the Anatolian inland, to make it much easier to trade goods from the inland to the coast. Precise measurements already possible for the Roman engineers had shown that there could be a route over the Sangarius River to Sapanca Lake and on to the Marmara Sea (then called Propontis), with only 32 meters of difference to overcome, one for Roman technicians Quite a problem to be solved, as there was sufficient structural experience in other countries. This basic idea was further deepened, and the first drawings were drawn up: the Pliny Canal in 111 AD.

b_450_450_16777215_00_images_turkey_marmara_sangarius-bridge.jpgAt Adapazarı, the interested traveller will find an old bridge system over the Sangarius River from Roman times, which has often been visited by competent archaeologists and engineers because, at least according to some experts, it had already been optimized for the later Pliny Canal during its construction phase . The archaeologist Moore claims that the idea for the construction of the Pliny Canal was based on the fact that the course of the Sangarius from the Black Sea could be diverted in the opposite direction into Lake Sapanca, in order to shorten the canal. On closer inspection of the Sangarius bridge it is noticeable that contrary to Roman engineering knowledge, the pointed bridge piers, which were clearly planned to protect the bridge construction from driftwood, were installed downstream. As further evidence, he cites that this massive bridge construction, over 400 meters long, bears no relation to the width of the Melas River.

Of course, the contradiction comes from another side, because the archaeologist Whitby immediately criticizes that the entire course of the Sangarius was not navigable and that there were also pointed constructions on other Roman bridges that could act as breakwaters. When asked about the reversal of the direction of flow of a river like that of the Sangarius, Froriep claims that such a reversal was possible due to the very small gradient, as other examples of history have shown.

Continuation of the news from n-tv:

“The Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan wants to build a ship canal west of Istanbul as an alternative to the Bosporus. Feasibility studies for the project, which would create a second connection between the Black Sea and the Sea of ​​Marmara, should be completed within two years, Erdogan said in Istanbul a good six weeks before the Turkish parliamentary election.

The Istanbul Canal would run west of Istanbul for approximately 50 kilometres, approximately 150 meters wide and approximately 25 meters deep. It would relieve the busy Bosporus, which more than 50,000 merchant ships pass annually, primarily from the dangerous tanker traffic.

"Today we roll up our sleeves to start the biggest project of the century that not even the Panama Canal or the Suez Canal can get to," Erdogan told enthusiastic supporters. Turkey has the firm will to implement this project. He did not mention construction costs. "

Please also read:

The legendary Xerxes Canal of Chalkidiki
The Selimye Mosque in Edirne

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