Erdogan opens Eurasia Tunnel but what next for other mega projects?

With a third bridge across the Bosphorus already completed last summer and this week’s opening of the $1.2bn Eurasia Tunnel expected to cut the journey time between the Asian and European sections of the city  from over an hour and a half  down to 15 minutes, Recep Tayyip Erdogan appears to be on track to honour his  pre-election pledge to implement a number of “crazy’ infrastructure mega projects designed to cement Turkey’s position as the southern gateway between Asia and Europe; but with the economy shrinking for the first time since 2009 and  the lira under attack every time the country is hit by a new act of  violence, the government has gone quiet about the prospects for Kanal Istanbul, the proposed 43km long and 400m wide artificial sea-level waterway linking the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara. The canal is scheduled to be completed by 2023 to mark the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Turkish Republic.
Invitations to tenders for the project – designed to ease congestion through the Bosphorous Strait and provide an alternative  and safer channel for the super-tankers transporting Russian and Kazakh oil towards the Aegean – were expected to be issued by the the end 2016, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said this summer, but, with the country shocked and distracted by this week’s assassination of Russian Ambassador Andrei Karlov, his Erdogan may be reviewing his priorities. 
He , or at least his economic advisers, must also be questioning the wisdom of carrying on with its infrastructure programme in such an uncertain political and economic climate and will certainly be fretting about the future commercial viability of  Istanbul New Airport which is due to open for business in 2018.
With  its six runways and the capacity to handle up to 200 million passengers a year , the €10.2bn airport’s business model was partly based on the assumption that Turkey would remain a hugely popular holiday destination for Europeans and Russians alike; but  that was before the bottom dropped out of the Turkish tourist industry following a spate of terrorist attacks that has left more than 100 dead and many more injured in the last year alone.