Erdogan: Istanbul Canal - strategic project

Construction of the Istanbul Canal, a waterway linking the Black and Marmara seas, is a strategic project, Turkish media reported referring to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on May 29.

Erdogan said that the implementation of this initiative is one of the important maritime projects that will successfully compete with other projects of this kind.

"Turkey, as in the past, will further implement important projects of global significance," Erdogan said.

The head of state also noted that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) pays special attention to development of Istanbul, as well as all major cities of Turkey.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed intention to implement the Istanbul Canal project in 2011.

The depth and width of the Istanbul Canal will be 25 meters and 400 meters, respectively. The length of the Istanbul Canal will be 45 kilometers.

The aim of construction of the Istanbul Canal is to reduce the load on the Bosphorus Strait, as well as to prevent the threat of ecological and man-made disasters on one of the world's most intense sea highways.

Presently, an average of 150 vessels pass through the Bosphorus daily, of which about 30 are oil tankers. Annually about 150 million tons of oil and oil products are transported through the Black Sea straits, while the capacity of the Bosphorus is estimated at 200 million tons.

Along the Canal, it is planned to build new residential complexes that will be connected to other areas of the 15-million megapolis through the modern transport infrastructure, including the metro and high-speed trains, as well as the third airport being built in the European part of Istanbul.

A new port is also expected to be constructed within this project.

The Istanbul Canal will run parallel to the Bosphorus and in fact will turn the European part of Istanbul into an island and separate it from Europe.

Tankers with a length not exceeding 275 meters, a width of 48 meters and a carrying capacity of 14,500 DWT will be allowed to operate in the Istanbul Canal, being constructed under the government's "Goal 2023" plan.

The construction of the Istanbul Canal will continue for five years, and its minimum lifetime will be 100 years.