Canal Istanbul mega project to free Bosphorus, says minister
"We see Canal Istanbul as a very important project for the future of our country with its coastal structures, marinas, container ports and logistics centers," Murat Kurum said.
Noting that studies on the potential impact of the project on the environment was nearing completion and that the project was being carried out with the highest-level environmental sensitivity.
"The Bosphorus [coasts] will certainly not to be opened for construction. Its historical, natural fabric will be preserved," the minister added, emphasizing the importance of the project for both Turkey and the world.
The planned canal is meant to provide relief to shipping traffic between the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara, particularly oil tanker traffic, through the Bosphorus.
Six major accidents have caused the deaths 100 people and the leakage of 108,000 tons of oil in the Bosphorus since 1960s, Kurum said.
"With Canal Istanbul, we will take the burden of the Bosphorus and hand down it to the next generations in a better way," he said underlining the aim of the project as to prevent environmentally hazardous incidents.
It is one of Turkey's most strategic mega projects and plans to eliminate the rising risk posed by ships carrying dangerous goods through the Bosphorus.
The 45-kilometer (nearly 28-mile) canal, which will be built west of the city center on the European side of Istanbul province, is to boost capacity of 160 vessels a day.