-DR. ABDUL RUFF
Turkey, the only Muslim nation in European continent, on 29th October formally opened the world’s first sea tunnel in a three-billion-euro mega project driven by the Islamic-rooted government known as Bosphorus Marmaray tunnel connecting two continents, fulfilling a sultan’s dream 150 years ago. The 13.6-kilometre long the Bosphorus tunnel linking Istanbul’s European and Asian sides includes an immersed tube tunnel which officials say is the world’s deepest at 60 meters below the seabed.
Turkey’s capital Istanbul is one of the world’s biggest cities, with about 16 million people. Some two million, cross the Bosphorus every day via just two bridges, causing severe traffic congestion.
Transport is a major problem in Istanbul, and each day two million people cross the Bosphorus via two usually jammed bridges. While creating a transportation axis between the east and west points of the city, many believe the tunnel will soothe the transport problem facing the former Ottoman Empire with 150,000 passenger capacity per hour.
Turkey Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the man behind the national feat, has dedicated the Bosphorus tunnel, almost linking East and West, to the nation. The tunnel in Turkey’s main gateway city is part of a larger “Marmaray” project that also includes an upgrade of existing suburban train lines to create a 76-kilometre (47-mile) line that links the two continents.
The inauguration of the ambitious scheme – “the project of the century” – coincides with the 90th anniversary of the founding of modern Turkey. Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was among the chief guests also present at the official opening ceremony as the Japan Bank for International Cooperation was the main financer contributing 735 million Euros ($1 billion) to the project. Turkey transport Minister Binali Yildirim said that Turkey celebrate two feasts together: the 90th anniversary of the republic on October 29 and also realize a one-and-a-half century dream of a major rail tunnel project in Istanbul.
Turkish Sea Tunnel
The Marmaray tunnel is the world’s first connecting two continents, and is designed to withstand earthquakes. It was inaugurated on the 90th anniversary of the Republic of Turkey. Premier of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan has for years championed the undersea engineering project, first conceived by the Ottoman sultan. Japan invested $1bn of the $4bn (£3.4bn) total cost of the project, named Marmaray, which is a conflation of the nearby Sea of Marmara with “ray”, the Turkish word for rail. Erdogan, a former mayor of Istanbul, revived the plan in 2004 as one of his mega projects for the bustling city of 16 million people — which also include a third airport, a third bridge across the Bosphorus and a canal parallel to the international waterway to ease traffic.
The sea tunnel idea was first floated by Ottoman sultan Abdoul Medjid in 1860 but technical equipment at the time was not good enough to take the project further and so the project reminds a dream for too long until technology developed to cater to the Turkish needs. The desire to build an undersea tunnel grew stronger in the 1980s and studies also showed that such a tunnel would be feasible and cost-effective.
Construction of the tunnel started in 2004 and had been scheduled to take four years but was delayed after a series of major archaeological discoveries. Some 40,000 objects were excavated from the site, notably a cemetery of some 30 Byzantine ships, which is the largest known medieval fleet. But these unexpected finds eventually frustrated Erdogan, who complained two years ago that artefacts were trumping his plans to transform Istanbul’s cityscape.
Erdogan’s critics accuse him of bringing forward the inauguration of the Bosphorus tunnel in time for municipal elections in March 2014. His ambitions were one cause for the massive anti-government protests that swept the country in June, with local residents complaining the premier’s urban development plans were forcing people from their homes and destroying green space. Authorities came under fire earlier this year when protesters opposed plans to redevelop a park in Istanbul. Widespread violence between anti-government demonstrators and security forces ensued.
Some parallels: The Channel tunnel in France, Le tunnel sous la Manche is a 50.5 km undersea rail tunnel linking Folkestone, Kent, in the United Kingdom with Coquelles, Pas-de-Calais, near Calais in northern France beneath the English Channel at the Strait of Dover. At 37.9 km the Channel Tunnel possesses the longest undersea portion of any tunnel in the world, although the Seikan Tunnel in Japan is both longer overall at 53.85 km and deeper at 240 m below sea level. So now one can drive from Scotland to the Bering Sea, Cape Horn to shores of Greenland and the Cape of Good Hope to anywhere in Eurasia.
USA is spending money huge money on building more weapons systems for itself and for its fascist ally Israel and re-balancing Asia. If the USA-Rus super powers construct a tunnel or bridge from Alaska, to big Diomede island, (25 miles) then to the Russian mainland, (another 25 miles) one could literally drive your car to Europe, Asia, & Middle East.
That is for the future to consider. China is spending money to build a high speed rail road from southern China to England. There is already an existing rail road between China and Germany.
Today, two continents- Europe and Asia- are being united under the sea. This is a first in the world. The Turkish government hopes the new route under the Bosphorus will eventually develop into an important trading route. In theory it brings closer the day when it will be possible to travel from London to Beijing via Istanbul by train.
In line with its traditional Western orientation, relations with Europe have always been a central part of Turkish foreign policy. Turkey is a founding member of the United Nations (1945), the OECD (1961), the OIC (1969), the OSCE (1973), the ECO (1985), the BSEC (1992), the D-8 (1997) and the G-20 major economies (1999). On 17 October 2008, Turkey was elected as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, UNSC. Turkey’s membership of the council effectively began on 1 January 2009.[ Turkey had previously been a member of the U.N. Security Council in 1951–1952, 1954–1955 and 1961.
After participating with the United Nations forces in the Korean War, Turkey joined NATO in 1952, becoming a bulwark against Soviet expansion into the Mediterranean. USA promoted and used Turkey for years now to realize its European and Mideast agendas. The current prime minister is the former mayor of İstanbul, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, whose Islamist Justice and Development Party was elected for a third consecutive time in 2011 general elections.
As the only Muslim nation in European continent Turkey is still struggling to be taken into essentially anti-Islamic European Union (EU) due to opposition from a few fanatic EU leaders who also claim to be the super democrats. Turkey began full membership negotiations with the European Union in 2005 but still faces hurdles. Spain was also a Muslim country in Europe a couple of centuries ago, until Muslims there were killed as a holocaust move by anti-Islam forces and the similar forces are trying to make full use of any chance of disturbances in Turkey, an Islamist nation, to destabilize the nation.
Turkey is increasingly considered by the west as a nation with international resources to be gain veto membership on UNSC. As part of its diplomatic effort to shore up its influence globally, the sea route is envisaged to increase trade volume considerably. Thus the sea rail tunnel Marmaray project is expected to upgrade existing suburban train lines to create a direct link joining the southern part of the city across the Bosphorus Strait.