Groundbreaking for Kanal Istanbul project to be held in late 2017 or early 2018: Erdoğan

The groundbreaking process for Kanal Istanbul, which foresees the building of a giant new canal between the Marmara Sea and the Black Sea on the European side of the city, will kick off either late this year or early in 2018, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Oct. 10.

“Opening a new channel parallel to the Bosphorus, which we call ‘Kanal Istanbul,’ is my dream. God willing, we will break its ground probably at the end of this year or in early 2018,” Erdoğan said at the Turkey-Serbia Business Forum in the Serbian capital Belgrade.

Kanal Istanbul was among the “crazy projects” that then-Prime Minister Erdoğan promised to realize ahead of the 2011 general election, pledging to build a 43-kilometer-long, 400-meter-wide canal crossed by six bridges.

Earlier reports had also suggested that three artificial islands were planned to be built at the exits of Marmara Sea and the Black Sea, and would be income-generating in order to finance the planned canal. The authorities are also reportedly planning to construct residences on these islands.

Meanwhile, in the same speech Erdoğan also said Turkey was holding talks at the Foreign Ministry level to try to resolve the ongoing U.S. visa crisis.

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