Reuters - Turkey plans to build a vast waterway to relieve congestion in Istanbul's Bosphorus Strait, said Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday. The project involves a canal between Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara, effectively turning a large portion of Istanbul’s European side to an island.
"Istanbul will become a city with two seas passing through," said Erdogan, a former mayor of Istanbul, in his presentation that lasted around an hour and was broadcast live. "We are building the canal of the century, a project of such immense size that it cannot be compared to Panama or Suez canals."
The aim is to relieve congestion through the Bosphorus Strait and reduce chances of an environmental disaster as tankers carrying oil and gas from Russia and Central Asia pass through the waterway separating the Asian and European halves of Istanbul. "We are going to put an end to the heavy burden of traffic on the Bosphorus. Our aim is for between 130 and 160 ships passing through the Canal Istanbul," said Erdogan.