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The 45 kilometer Kanal Istanbul will link the seas north and south of Istanbul and ease traffic on the Bosphorus Strait, a major global shipping lane.Estimated to cost around $16 billion, the canal is one of the most ambitious of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's infrastructure megaschemes.Some 369,000 people live in the area that could be impacted by the canal, according to the Turkish Data Analysis Center, a research company.The canal will demolish two basins that provide nearly a third of Istanbul's fresh water and will increase the salinity of underground water streams, affecting agricultural land as far away as the neighboring Thrace region, TMMOB said.The canal will cut through that land, as well as land around nearly two dozen different villages and neighborhoods."We had around 3,000 cattle then, we have 300 now," Teke, the administrator, said.Villagers fear the canal will destroy what remains of their agricultural land.
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