Turkey is close to completing preparations for starting a grand project of digging of a canal connecting the Black Sea north of Istanbul to the Marmara Sea to the south, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said yesterday in a statement following a meeting with his party's parliamentary bloc in Ankara.
"We have mostly completed our preparations to dig Kanal Istanbul, which is considered one of the largest and most strategic infrastructure projects in the country," state news agency Anadolu Agency quoted Erdogan as saying.
The Turkish president added that the canal is expected to be 45 kilometres long, with a depth of 21 metres and a width of 275 metres.
Turkey is expected to lay the groundwork for the project this summer, Erdogan said.
According to Reuters, the project "has drawn criticism over its cost and environmental impact."