ERDOGAN STRIKES BACK: Turkey Blockades Russian Shipping, Black Sea Fleet Completely Cut off
Turkey is authorized to close the Straits to all foreign warships in wartime or when it was threatened by aggression
Turkey has begun a defacto blockade of Russian naval vessels, preventing transit through the Dardanelles and the Strait of Bosphorus, between the Black Sea and Mediterranean.
According to the AIS tracking system for the movement of maritime vessels, only Turkish vessels are moving along the Bosphorus, and in the Dardanelles there is no movement of any shipping at all.
At the same time, both from the Black Sea, and from the Mediterranean Sea, there is a small cluster of ships under the Russian flag, just sitting and waiting.
The image below shows the situation with the ships using the GPS transponder onboard each vessel:
In addition, shipping inside the Black Sea from Novorossiisk and Sevastopol in the direction of the Bosphorus, no Russian vessels are moving. This indirectly confirms the a CNN statement that Turkey may have blocked the movement of Russian ships on the Dardanelles and the Strait of Bosporus.
There is a Treaty specifically covering the use of these waterways by nations of the world. That Treaty is the Montreux Convention Regarding the Regime of the Straits.
It is a 1936 agreement that gives Turkey control over the Bosporus Straitsand the Dardanelles and regulates the transit of naval warships. The Convention gives Turkey full control over the Straits and guarantees the free passage of civilian vessels in peacetime. It restricts the passage of naval ships not belonging to Black Sea states. The terms of the convention have been the source of controversy over the years, most notably concerning theSoviet Union‘s military access to the Mediterranean Sea.
Signed on 20 July 1936 at the Montreux Palace in Switzerland, it permitted Turkey to remilitarise the Straits. It went into effect on 9 November 1936 and was registered in League of Nations Treaty Series on 11 December 1936. It is still in force today, with some amendments.
The Convention consists of 29 Articles, four annexes and one protocol. Articles 2–7 consider the passage of merchant ships. Articles 8–22 consider the passage of war vessels. The key principle of freedom of passage and navigation is stated in articles 1 and 2. Article 1 provides that “The High Contracting Parties recognize and affirm the principle of freedom of passage and navigation by sea in the Straits”. Article 2 states that “In time of peace, merchant vessels shall enjoy complete freedom of passage and navigation in the Straits, by day and by night, under any flag with any kind of cargo.”
The International Straits Commission was abolished, authorizing the full resumption of Turkish military control over the Straits and the refortification of the Dardanelles. Turkey was authorized to close the Straits to all foreign warships in wartime or when it was threatened by aggression; additionally, it was authorized to refuse transit from merchant ships belonging to countries at war with Turkey.
Turkey has now invoked its power, but has not publicly stated whether they are blocking Russian Naval Vessels because Turkey is “threatened with aggression” or whether Turkey considers itself to be “at war.” Last week, Turkey shot down a Russian military jet
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