President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Saturday that the first initiative of his government after winning elections would be the construction of Kanal Istanbul, an artificial sea-level waterway that will connect the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara.
Addressing a large crowd at the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party’s women congress in Istanbul, Erdoğan said: “We want our women to be more active, more engaged, and be represented in higher numbers in politics and in the parliament.”
Last week, Turkey’s parliament passed a bill calling for early presidential and parliamentary elections on June 24.
Speaking about the upcoming snap polls, Erdoğan said Istanbul, with nearly 9.5 million voters, will be a major player.
A key project among the government’s 2023 goals, the idea of Kanal Istanbul was floated by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in 2011.
Recently a 1/100,000-scale route and reserve structure plan for Kanal Istanbul was completed.
Once completed, the canal will reduce shipping traffic, particularly oil tanker traffic, passing through the Bosphorus Strait.
Kanal Istanbul will be 45.2 kilometers long, and will extend through Istanbul’s Avcılar, Küçükçekmece, Başakşehir, and Arnavutköy districts.
The project cost of the project is estimated at 65 billion Turkish liras ($16 billion). The construction will employ more than 6,000 people and 1,500 people will be employed in the operation phase. Approximately 1.5 billion cubic meters of earth will be excavated and more than 115 million cubic meters of material will come from the sea and bottom screening