Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan launched Saturday the construction of the  Istanbul Canal, a $15 billion, 6-year project that is to replace the Bosporus

. Designed to carry ships of the same size that transit the Suez Canal, the 45 km canal would open the Black Sea for the first time to liquefied natural gas cargoes from Persian Gulf. Turkish officials have said the future canal will not be subject to the 1936 Montreux Convention, which limits the number and tonnage of war ships entering the Black Sea through the Bosporus.