Turkey has asked Russia to avoid sending its 4 naval vessels through the Bosphorus and Dardanelles strait. Following such a request, Russia withdrew its initial decision to send its warships through the straits. Turkey’s move was also confirmed by Mevlut Cavusoglu, the Foreign Minister of Turkey.
In 1936, the Montreux treaty had been signed, named after the palace located in Switzerland where it had been signed. It presents Turkey with the right to supervise access to the Black Sea since it is in charge of regulating vessels that pass through the Bosphorus and Dardanelles. Some of the original signatories include Yugoslavia, the Soviet Union, Japan, the UK, Romania, Bulgaria, Germany, Australia, Greece, France, and Turkey.
The treaty permits Turkey the right to block warring-party vessels from accessing the Black Sea unless they have a home base there.
The Russian demand concerning four warships was put forward on Sunday and Monday, per Turkey’s foreign minister. With the news emerging, several social media users pointed out that Turkey cannot completely deny access, citing the Montreux treaty.
For maximizing the signal-to-noise ratio, it is essential to flag that of four Russian warships, one had a registered Black Seabase. So, only that vessel was able to access the Bosphorus strait. Russia has taken back its request for the warships and Turkey has subsequently informed the other members of the treat about Russia’s move.
Turkey has been walking a fine line from the time the crisis over Ukraine has started. NATO member Turkey has close economic and military relations with Russia. It has until now restrained and not blindly followed the West’s moved to impose sanctions on Russia. Given such a precarious situation of Istanbul’s economy, particularly the shadow of a fledgling Lira, Istanbul has opted for the prudent measure of assessing the possible impact that sanctions levied on Russia would’ve for the economy of Turkey.