"The project development was launched in August, 2017… Five variants of the route have been elaborated, but after the surface exploration we approved the route that would pass through Istanbul's districts of Kucukcekmece, Sazlidere and Durusu. The length of the canal would comprise 45 kilometers (27.9 miles)," Arslan said at a press conference, adding that the construction will be launched in 2018.
The minister noted that the project was considered to be the largest in Turkey, but the cost has so far not been calculated.
The concept for the channel, which would link the Marmara Sea with the Black Sea, was initially presented in 2011 by then Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The ultimate goal of the waterway will be to decrease traffic at the Bosporus Strait.