On June 26, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan attended the groundbreaking ceremony of the Canal Istanbul Sazlıdere Bridge, which officially started the Canal Istanbul project. Sazlıdere Bridge is one of the six bridges that will be built on Canal Istanbul.
Speaking at the event, President Erdoğan said the Turkish government is opening a new era in the history of Turkey. The President stated the annual number of ships passing through the Bosphorus has increased from 3,000 in the 1930s to 45,000 now, with predictions up to 78,000 ships passing through by 2050, with each enormous ship posing a severe risk to Istanbul.
“The aim of the Canal Istanbul project is to secure the safety of residents and property along the Bosporus. We consider Canal Istanbul a project to save Istanbul's future," added President Erdoğan.
Regarding the financing of the project, President Erdoğan underlined that the income to be received from the ships and the port to be built, Canal Istanbul will finance itself and help Turkey have a more active role in global trade.
Canal Istanbul is projected to be finished in 6 years at a cost of around USD 15 billion.