“Turkey is canceling planned NATO exercises in the Black Sea due to the requirements of the Montreux Convention,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Tuesday in an interview with Anadolu news agency.
Simply put, Ankara did what it said in February last year: that the straits and NATO are closed under the Montreux Convention, or rather under Article 19 of the Convention (for warring countries) and Article 21 – to close the passage through the straits for other states, if Turkey itself war threatens!
This was stated on Tuesday by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in an interview with Anadolu news agency, but the essence is more “juicy”: British and French ships have requested entry into the Black Sea to create a “security corridor” for the Ukrainians to try to break the Russian blockade of the still occupied by Ukraine north -the western part of the Black Sea, and Turkey refused them …
Turkey understands that the collision of French and British ships could lead to a global nuclear conflict.
“If we joined the sanctions, we would not be able to play the mediating role that we have now. We have complied with the Montreux Warship Convention, but we must keep the airspace, this airstrip, open. Requests for the passage of ships have previously been received from Russia and the United States. We, in accordance with this convention, canceled or postponed the planned NATO exercises. We play an important role, we fulfill our obligations”, – he said.
Chavosoglu recalled that Ankara “from the very beginning, in principle, stated that it would join the UN sanctions only if they were formally imposed on the Russian Federation, since now anyone can impose sanctions against anyone. This is their job. We have chosen the role of an intermediary, we are trying to mitigate the situation. And this position of ours is welcomed in EUin the world,” he said.
At the same time, the minister pointed out that Turkey’s non-alignment with the sanctions against Russia does not mean that they can be circumvented through Ankara.
In accordance with Art. 19 conventions Montreuxadopted in 1936, merchant ships have the right to pass freely and without payment through both Turkish-controlled straits. For military vessels of states with access to the Black Sea and those who do not have it, there are different regimes. The former can carry ships of any class through the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles, while the latter are subject to class and tonnage restrictions.
In wartime, Turkey has additional powers to regulate passage through the straits. Ankara can ban any country from using the straits if it considers it a threat to regional or its own security.
The Bosporus and the Dardanelles, along with the Sea of Marmara, connect the Black Sea with the Mediterranean. This is the only way from the Black Sea to the World Ocean. Both sides of the straits are controlled by Turkey.