Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has vowed to cut support to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's Kanal Istanbul project when his party comes to power.
Kılıçdaroğlu also promised to keep Turkey distance from countries that back the artificial canal project.
“If a foreign country enters that tender, we will keep our distance from that country when we come to power. We will absolutely not pay them," he told the T24 news website, while also warning local banks against extending loans to the project.
The Turkish government recently said that the construction of Kanal Istanbul, a canal project which aims to connect the Black Sea north of Istanbul to the Marmara Sea to the south, will start in a “very short” period of time.
The government says it will ease shipping traffic on the Bosphorus Strait, one of the world's busiest maritime passages, and prevent accidents.
But like other major infrastructure projects undertaken during Erdoğan's 18-year rule, the canal has drawn criticism from those who say it will wreak environmental havoc and pollute freshwater resources around the city of 15 million people.