CANAL ISTANBUL "BY 2023"
Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan promises 45km bypass "project of the century" to relieve congested Bosporus Strait.
Turkey is to build a new canal to bypass the heavily congested Bosporus Strait, according to prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He said the 150m-wide Canal Istanbul would link the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara that opens to the Aegean Sea via the Dardanelles.
Erdogan revealed the canal would be about 45km long and described it as "the greatest project of the century".
He did not disclose the exact location.
"We are rolling up our sleeves for Canal Istanbul, one of the greatest projects of the centuries that will outshine the Panama and Suez canals," Erdogan said.
He said the waterway would have a depth of about 25m and would allow 160 ships to transit every day.
The aim is to complete it by 2023, he added, without saying how much it would cost.
Turkey is keen to keep millions of tonnes of hazardous cargo away from the 2m people living on the banks of the Bosporus. "One of the main objectives is to reduce traffic through the Bosporus and minimise the environmental threat," Erdogan said.