Turkey on Monday unveiled the "most appropriate" route for the Canal Istanbul Project, which is an artificial sea-level waterway parallel to the Bosphorus that is to connect the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara.
"The Kucukcekmece-Sazlidere-Durusu corridor was chosen as the most appropriate route for Canal Istanbul," Transportation, Maritime and Communications Minister Ahmet Arslan said in a news conference in Ankara.
Arslan said the length of the artificial sea route would total 45 kilometers (28 miles).
He added the route would start from Kucukcekmece Lake, which is located between the Istanbul's districts of Esenyurt and Avcilar on the European side.
The route is to continue to the north passing Istanbul's Sazlidere Dam and reach the Black Sea from the east of Terkos Dam, located in the Durusu village of Istanbul's Catalca district.
The canal is to provide relief to shipping traffic, particularly oil tanker traffic, passing through the Bosphorus. The canal is to boast a capacity of 160 vessels a day and is scheduled to be completed by 2023.
"The aim is to reduce the risks that may arise from vessels carrying dangerous substances passing through the Bosphorus," the minister said.
Arslan did not give further information about the exact cost of the project, but added it will be "much bigger" than other projects.
"Right now, our country's biggest project is the third airport [in Istanbul] with [a cost of] around €10.5 billion ($12.8 billion), but, Canal Istanbul will be bigger [in value]," Arslan added.
He said Turkey aims to finish all tender processes and ground breaking in 2018. AA