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Turkish president lays foundation for Canal Istanbul

27 June 2021 [10:20] - TODAY.AZ

By Trend

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday laid the groundwork of the Canal Istanbul, which would connect the Black Sea and the Marmara Sea, Trend reports citing Xinhua.

Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony, Erdogan said Canal Istanbul would significantly ease the heavy traffic of the 30-km-long Bosphorus Strait, one of the world's busiest waterways that divides the Asian and European parts of Istanbul.

The Turkish leader noted that the high number of cargo ships passing through the strait each day with diverse loads poses a significant risk for the city.

"Projections show that the number of ships that will pass through the Bosphorus in 2050 will reach 78,000," he noted, adding that the safe passage capacity of the Bosphorus in a year is 25,000.

The ceremony was held on the shore of the Sazlidere dam, one of the main reservoirs that provide fresh water to the city.

The dam area constitutes the first leg of the construction of the canal, which was first brought out by Erdogan in 2011.

Ekrem Imamoglu, mayor of Istanbul, stressed that the project would destroy the Marmara Sea and the water resources of the city. The mayor told reporters at a press conference held on the construction zone on Thursday that the canal would destroy the Sazlidere dam.

The new canal is expected to be completed in six years with a cost of 15 billion U.S. dollars, the state-run Anadolu agency said.

It will be around 45 km in length, 275 meters in base width, and 21 meters in-depth, it added.


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