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World Turkish media outlets - including the BBC - fell for an April Fools' news story that said the UN was planning a second Suez Canal for Egypt

13:20  02 april  2021
13:20  02 april  2021 Source:   businessinsider.com

Opinion: Suez Canal traffic jam blocks the world's jugular vein

  Opinion: Suez Canal traffic jam blocks the world's jugular vein A failure of machinery, human error or natural events -- high winds and reduced visibility - may have caused Ever Given to run ashore in the Suez Canal, writes Salvatore R. Mercogliano. But its impact will resonate far from its banks as it has blocked the jugular of one of the largest trade routes in human history. The Suez Canal was opened in November 1869 to great fanfare after 10 years of excavation. A joint endeavor by France and Great Britain, it provided a shorter route to Asia than having to circumnavigate Africa. Connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian Ocean via the Red Sea, the vital waterway was essential to maritime commerce.

diagram: A screenshot of The Guardian's April fool article, as of 7pm March 31. The Guardian © The Guardian A screenshot of The Guardian's April fool article, as of 7pm March 31. The Guardian
  • Turkish media appears to have fallen for an April fools prank by British newspaper The Guardian.
  • The Guardian published a spoof story claiming a second Suez Canal was in the works.
  • Several outlets, including BBC Turkey, reported - and then deleted - the story.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

An 'April Fools'' news article claiming the United Nations is looking into building a second Suez Canal appears to have been taken wholly seriously by major Turkish media outlets.

On April 1, The Guardian published "'Suez 2'? Ever Given grounding prompts plan for canal along Egypt-Israel border," an article that rapidly gained attention given the current international interest in the canal.

Suez Canal Remains Choked as Elite Team Tackles Stuck Ship

  Suez Canal Remains Choked as Elite Team Tackles Stuck Ship A huge backlog of vessels was building up around the Suez Canal amid warnings that the salvage team could need days -- or even weeks -- to prise out the giant container ship that’s blocking the crucial waterway. Work to re-float the Ever Given and allow passage for oceangoing carriers hauling almost $10 billion of oil and consumer goods continued without success on Thursday in Egypt. Tugs and diggers have so far failed to budge the vessel, and some experts say the crisis could drag on for several days. The Suez Canal Authority has temporarily suspended traffic along the waterway.

The article said that the UN was studying the feasibility of a second channel along the Egypt-Israel border.

map: A graphic that appeared in The Guardian's spoof, marking © The Guardian A graphic that appeared in The Guardian's spoof, marking "Suez 2" in red along the Egypt-Israel border. The Guardian

Several Turkish outlets appear to have taken it at face value, including BBC News Türkçe , which reported the story.

graphical user interface, text: A screenshot of the now-deleted BBC Turkey article. BBC Turkey © BBC Turkey A screenshot of the now-deleted BBC Turkey article. BBC Turkey

"The eyes and ears of the world were there! UN stepped in, rolled up sleeves for 2nd Suez Canal," read the headline used online by major national paper Hürriyet.


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Energy, retail, and food: Ever Given blockage threatens supply chains

  Energy, retail, and food: Ever Given blockage threatens supply chains Global trade has been unsettled after a massive container vessel became wedged in the Suez Canal and blocked passage, possibly for weeks to come. © Provided by Washington Examiner The 200,000-ton behemoth known as Ever Given ran aground earlier this week when a powerful sandstorm packing winds in excess of 45 mph buffeted the ship and caused it to become lodged between the banks of the critical passageway. Since the incident, officials have been working to dislodge the vessel, although estimates about how long that might take vary from days to weeks.

T24, an online Turkish news outlet, also published the story. The pages have now been deleted, but can be found via Google's cache.

Unfortunately, it was a spoof. The article - written by "Flora Lopi" - cited "sources" such as "Iver Shovel," "international tunnelling company OFP Lariol," and "Mo Sez, a regional expert in water division management."

The Guardian went all in and created a fake Twitter account for "Flora Lopi," who played along with the joke on social media:

The apparent mistake was first noticed by Middle East Eye Turkey correspondent Ragıp Soylu, who tweeted images of several print front pages that Insider has not been able to independently confirm:

The fake story created a huge buzz when first published, and "Suez 2" briefly trended on Twitter in the UK. It's not a surprise - the Ever Given has dominated the news cycle ever since it was grounded for six days in the crucial waterway.

The 220,000-ton container ship completely blocked one of the world's most important trading routes, choking the supply chain - and sparking endless memes. The ship was eventually freed on Monday, and the accumulated backlog of vessels is slowly passing through the channel.

The Guardian updated its story, marking it "April Fools'," as of noon on April 1, as is traditional with spoof stories.

The BBC, T24 and Hürriyet did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Trolls attack Egypt's first female sea captain after Suez Canal ship mishap .
Egypt's first female sea captain says she was skewered on social media although she was working on a ship hundreds of miles from the Ever Given.The controversy comes as the canal authority announced that the backup of ships was finally cleared Saturday, 11 days after the Ever Given became wedged across a narrow section of the canal and six days after the ship was freed.

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