Turkish state-owned Anatolia news agency said in an article written for April Fool's Day that a huge natural gas reserve was found in downtown Istanbul in the area of Taksim Square during digging as part of the renovation of the touristic site.
The report said digging units saw a large flash that turned into raging flame. The workers thought they had mistakenly hit a gas pipeline and called Istanbul gas authority inspectors and firefighters.
Inspectors found that there were no gas pipes in the area and expanded the work to find out what really caused the flame. They later realized that the area is replete with natural gas.
The inspectors informed the state-owned Turkish Pipeline Corporation (BOTAÅž), which sent a delegation of experts to the scene, including foreign ones. Japanese scientist Ichi Nissan (the name is close to â€œIki Nisanâ€ in Turkish, which means April 2) said after the examination that the natural gas reserve is 400 meters beneath the ground. â€œWe estimate that the natural gas reserve here is about 38 billion cubic meters. Istanbul could meet its energy demand from gas it extracts from here. This is enough for Istanbul for 10 years,â€ Nissan was quoted as saying.
The reports also included remarks by authorities who said natural gas drilling wells could be opened in the area and that they may need structural changes there.
The report was published by Mehmet Bir and written by reporter Nuran Nisan. The surnames of the two combine to mean â€œApril 1â€ in Turkish.