22:43 GMT +3 hours28 May 2016
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A Turkish coastguard boat in Bosphorus Strait. file photo

Not Thinking Strait? Turkey Won't Let Russian Ships Into Bosphorus

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Dozens of Russian ships have reportedly been waiting for hours near the Bosphorus Strait to get the go-ahead from Turkey to be able to pass through the waterway.

In a clear violation of international norms, Turkish authorities have created hurdles for Russian vessels passing through the Bosphorus Strait, according to RT; as a result, dozens of Russian ships have been waiting for hours to obtain the green light from Turkey for passage, LifeNews reports.

RIA Novosti quoted Viktor Kravchenko, former chief of staff of the Russian Navy, as saying that a possible unilateral closure by Turkey of the Bosphorus Strait for Russian ships would be out of line with international law.

"Turkey will not close the strait to Russian vessels en route to Syria because it would be a violation of international law and the Montreux Convention, in particular, — a document that was signed by most counties at the time", he said.

The 1936 Montreux Convention on the Regime of the Straits regulates the passage of civilian and naval ships through the Bosphorus Strait and the Dardanelles.  According to Article 2, "merchant vessels shall enjoy complete freedom of transit and navigation in the Straits, by day and by night, under any flag and with any kind of cargo, without any formalities."

The New Mosque is backdropped by Istanbul's skyline and the Bosporus, Thursday, July 9, 2015
© AP Photo/ Emrah Gurel
The New Mosque is backdropped by Istanbul's skyline and the Bosporus, Thursday, July 9, 2015

As for naval warships, in times of peace Turkey must permit the passage of small and medium-sized vessels belonging to all nations. The Black Sea powers (formerly including the USSR and now Russia) can navigate warships of any class through the Straits, "on condition that these vessels pass through the Straits singly, escorted by not more than two destroyers."

In times of war, the passage of warships shall be left entirely to the discretion of the Turkish government, according to the document.

In December 1982, the UN elaborated the Convention on the Law of the Sea, but Turkey refused to join it and the Montreux convention remained in force. In 1994, Turkey unilaterally adopted new Maritime Traffic Regulations for the Straits, and included a number of restrictions for the passage of foreign vessels.

Meanwhile, it was reported that French fighter jets will use the Incirlik military base and that the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle will receive logistical support in the Turkish port of Mersin. 

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ships, authorities, law, violation, war, Turkey, Russia
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  • Seriously i don't know how Putin is restraining himself.. This is more than a provocation..
  • Victor S
    They tried that before already, let's what happens this time! " During the heyday of the Soviet Union, they made a similar statement about the desire to close. And our then Foreign Minister Gromyko said that for the passage of Russian ships in the Mediterranean will need only a few volleys of rockets. As a result, there will soon be two more passages in the Mediterranean. But, alas, there will be no Istanbul. After these words, Turkey has never raised the issue of the closure of the Bosphorus for the warships of the USSR. "
  • poofipoofipoofi
    Obviously the legality of decisions is not a factor for Turkey, they established that already. Not surprised.
  • surferket
    Since NATO and Obama openly sided with Turkey it's clear Turkey will go further to provoke armed conflict with Russia.
  • Wait!
  • Tactical Investor
    Turkey is over pushing it's limits
  • n.petrossov
    I'm extremely ashamed of being connected with these people. Putin (and Assad) will win no matter what.
  • Anas Drak
    If Turkey doesn't permit Russian ships passing by Bosporous, this will be the ultimate mistake which will ignite a tremendous Russian reaction. Judging by Turkey's desperate actions, it will be possible not to permit Russian ships passing by Dardanelia. This kind of decision will be the beginning of the biggest of troubles for Turkey.
  • Turkey is tightening the progress of Russia as planned with their allies-the West

    Russia should force itself into it because they have the right eventhough the West know not any of that
  • choticastile
    US war hawks and their NATO lap dog -- are behind this -- makes sense, as they're the fools punting for war, more than ever now, because Russia exposed and put the kaibush on the the massive oil scam. Erdogan is unbelievably shortsighted -- he is destroying what could have been a lasting and fruitful relationship with Russia as well as hurting Turkey's economy. Turks will not take kindly to economic deprivation -- so Erdogan already acting like a despot, will not last long. For Turkey's sake, I hope he doesn't. For sure, there will be hell to play, if Turkey continues its childish nonsense in the Bosphorus!
  • choticastilein reply toVictor S(Show commentHide comment)
    Victor S, "As a result, there will soon be two more passages in the Mediterranean. But, alas, there will be no Istanbul."

    Love it!
  • goaismine
    Turkey should backoff ! Any further Provocation will complicate the Situation
    Turkey have to keep up with the 1936 Montreux Convention if not this could become
    a case for the UN and in a worst case scenario it could lead to a Enforcement
  • Glamoureus
    On day of war, Russia should Liberate Bosphorus and give it to Greece
  • jef.helderweert
    It's clear more and more that Turkey is a troublemaker state , ruled by an Islamo-fascist party,
    which has no place in the European Union.
    Jef Helderweert
    BELGIUM
  • chrrev
    turkish governmemt are idiots; Putin should send military escort to the merchant navy. If turks come close, vaporize them.
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