ANKARA - The approval of the report violated the regulation, which states the participation of the people is essential in the development of environmental policies.
Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) has requested the cancellation of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report for the Canal (Kanal) İstanbul project.
Submitting a petition to İstanbul Administrative Court, the HDP said the people's reaction against the project was not taken into consideration although Article 3 of the EIA Regulation says "The principle of participation is essential in the development of environmental policies."
The Ministry of Environment and Urbanism on January 17 approved the EIA report for Canal İstanbul, the planned artificial way that would connect the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara.
The government's latest efforts to realize the project that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan first mentioned in 2011 has led to a rise in tensions with the opposition.
In its petition, the HDP cited Articles 17 and 56 of the Constitution, which are on the right to life and conservation of the environment.
The Canal İstanbul project has become "a reason for existence" for the government, the HDP asserted, adding that the İstanbul Airport and the Third Bosphorus Bridge, which were built on "natural areas" are also parts of the same project.
Agricultural areas and basins that have been zoned for construction with the approval of the report are under protection according to the İstanbul Environmental Plan which was approved on June 6, 2009, the HDP stated, requesting the court to cancel the approval of the report.