August 2018



For further information please contact:

Av. Dr. Çağdaş Evrim Ergün
Partner, Ankara

Aslı İbiş
Legal Intern

Ergün Avukatlık Bürosu İstanbul | Levent 199, D: 79/B, Levent
T +90 (212) 280 90 91

Ankara | Next Level, A Blok, D: 33, Çankaya
T +90 (312) 220 30 60



Legal Developments concerning the Canal İstanbul Project

Following a recent announcement by the Turkish government that the tender for the Canal İstanbul Project (the “Project”) will be launched by the end of this year, certain developments have also taken place with respect to the legislative ground for the Project. On July 24, 2018 the General Directorate of Infrastructure of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has been authorised for the development of the Project. Recently, on August 3, 2018 a new law amending the Law No. 3996 Concerning the Realization of Certain Investments and Services in the Build-Operate-Transfer Model (the “BOT Law”) has been enacted by the Turkish Parliament (the “New Law”).

General Information on the Project

The Project involves the construction and operation of a 45-kilometer canal in Küçükçekmece – Sazlıdere -Durusu corridor with the main purpose of relieving the shipping traffic of the Bosphorus and creating an alternative route especially for the oil tankers.

The Project is expected to be the biggest project of Turkey with an estimated investment amount of around $15 billion.

Role of the General Directorate of Infrastructure

With the amendment made by a Presidential Decree dated 24 July 2018, the General Directorate of Infrastructure has been authorised to procure the development of water way and similar infrastructure projects which connect the seas, lakes and rivers and require advanced technology and high financial resources through the BOT Model.

As per the amendment, the General Directorate of Infrastructure shall develop the construction and operation models, prepare, examine, approve or procure the preparation and examination of the Project and the specifications. Additionally, it shall be responsible for the construction and operation, or appointing local or foreign corporations to construct and operate, and for determining the operation principles of the Project.

Amendment to the BOT Law

The New Law aims to procure the development of water way projects with high level requirements of financing and technology such as the Project, through the BOT Model efficiently, quickly and in line with the latest technological developments. In order to achieve this purpose and to extend the scope of the implementation of the BOT model, the development of “Canal Istanbul and similar water way projects” has been incorporated in the provision governing the scope of the BOT Law.

Accordingly, water way projects can also be realised through the BOT model, and the first water way project built through the BOT model is expected to be the Canal İstanbul Project.


This information is provided for your convenience and does not constitute legal advice. It is prepared for the general information of our clients and other interested persons. This should not be acted upon in any specific situation without appropriate legal advice. This information is protected by copyright and may not be reproduced or translated without the prior written permission of Ergün Avukatlık Bürosu.