Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan held talks with a lot of doctoral students in the capital Ankara on Friday to discuss the latest developments.
The construction of Canal Istanbul was one of the questions asked by the students.
"We have to take a step regarding Canal Istanbul. Why is that? Because the Bosphorus is always under a threat of an environmental massacre. Especially at the bend points, the Bosphorus has a special feature. Ships may be faced with what we call rudder locking in some places, and there are places where they become unable to maneuver when necessary. As you know, there have been many accidents in the Bosphorus. Since we could not close the strait to the passage of ships, we now had only one solution to meet the increasing traffic; it is Canal Istanbul. The studies carried out showed us that the ship traffic in Canal Istanbul will be 13 times safer than in the Bosphorus. So now that there is a 13 times safer situation like this, does it make sense for us to still resist the idea of Canal Istanbul?" Erdoğan stressed in the televised comments.
The discussion then turned into last month's NATO summit in Brussels where President Erdoğan met world leaders.
"The NATO Summit was really very meaningful for us. Among the leaders in the summit, I don't like to say it, but I was the most senior leader right now. My last meeting was with Biden. It was a successful meeting," Erdoğan said in response to the question
Another student then asked about Turkey's locally-made vaccine.
"Turkovac is an important test for us. Our goal is to get results by September or October. Of course, the assertions of our scientists on this issue give hope to us as politicians. As the administration, we are determined to do all of these, whatever is our part," Erdoğan underlined while speaking of the domestically-produced COVID-19 vaccine.
The Turkish president often meets the country's youth to listen to aspirations from Turkey's future leaders.