Turkey will soon initiate the project of artificial sea-level waterway Canal Istanbul, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Thursday.
"We will initiate Canal Istanbul as soon as possible with a tender," Erdoğan told a meeting on social project of 100,000 houses for low-income people in capital Ankara.
Erdoğan added it is a "project to protect the Bosphorus from a serious disaster."
The planned canal is meant to provide relief to shipping traffic between the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara, particularly oil tanker traffic through the Bosphorus.
It is one of Turkey's most strategic mega projects, and plans to eliminate the rising risk posed by ships carrying dangerous goods in the Bosphorus.
The 45-kilometer (nearly 28-mile) canal, which will be built in Istanbul's Küçükçekmece-Sazlıdere-Durusu corridor, is to boost a capacity of 160 vessels a day.
Social housing project
"We are starting the process of constructing 100,000 low-cost housing in [all] 81 provinces of our country as part of our 2020 program," said Erdoğan.
"We will provide home ownership to 100,000 low-income families through installments, [it will be] just like paying a rent," he said.
Erdoğan said the construction of the buildings will be completed in one to one-and-half years at longest after laying the foundation as of New Year.
"These housing projects will be designed in a way to reflect our traditional neighborhood culture with squares, mosques, schools, markets, recreational areas, green areas, facades and with all other features," he highlighted.