Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that his country plans to lay the cornerstone for the "Istanbul Canal" project at the end of this year or early 2018.

This came in a speech during his participation in the Turkish-Serbian Business Forum, held in the Serbian capital Belgrade.

Erdogan said that "opening a new Canal parallel to the Bosporus Strait, which we call the Istanbul Canal project was my dream, and most likely we will lay the cornerstone at the end of this year or early 2018."

The Istanbul Canal project is one of the most important Turkish projects being built by the government in Istanbul. The planned artificial waterway connects the Black Sea with the Marmara Sea, parallel to the Bosporus Strait, which divides Istanbul into two parts.

The aim of the government is to reduce the high traffic congestion of the Bosphorus Straits.

The length of this canal is about 43 km and the width is 400 meters while the depth is 25 meters. The government is considering the construction of an area of land estimated at 6865 hectares, i.e. 68 million 865 thousand square meters.

The Government is trying to preserve as much as possible the natural phenomena in the canal area, so that the forests, water springs and tributaries present in the area are not destroyed by the construction of the canal. In addition, the project's connection to Istanbul's third airport and the third Istanbul Bridge via the northern Marmara Highway, which will pass over the Istanbul Canal, will increase the value of the project and the areas it will pass from and turn it into a center for attracting investors.