Turkish court blocks access to news on minister's land purchases along Kanal Istanbul

Access to the news on the land purchases of Turkey's Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak along the route of a planned shipping canal project designed to bypass Istanbul’s Bosporus Straits has been blocked at the minister's request, Gazete Duvar said on Thursday.

A court in Istanbul has blocked access to online news reports on 13 hectares (3.2 acres) of land purchase along the path of Kanal Istanbul by Albayrak, the son-in-law of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Gazete Duvar said.

Land purchases along Kanal Istanbul route by individuals and companies known for their close ties to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) are a topic of hot debate in Turkey. If the project is completed, the value of the land around the project is expected to skyrocket with new zoning plans. 

The Istanbul mayor said on  Dec. 17 that he would investigate real estate purchases along the path of Kanal Istanbul.

Opposition figures after land purchases revealed that investors from Gulf countries, including members of the royal family of Turkey's ally Qatar, stood to make huge profits from buying up land around the project area.