Straits as elements of Turkey’s major strategic assets

Abstract

The straits of Dardanelles and the Bosphorus are a strategic factor of paramount importance concerning Turkey’s foreign relations. Since it began to control these maritime passages, Turkey tried to keep them closed to war and trade ships of foreign powers. With the decline of the Ottoman Empire and the arrival of Russia to the Black Sea, the status of these straits became an international question implying several international actors. The current regime in place, established by the Convention of Montreux of 1936, continues to regulate the straits: by establishing a balance between the security of Turkey through the Turkish control of the straits and the security of Russia in the Black Sea through restrictions applied to warship passage and navigation, the Montreux regime still remains the only applicable solution in the current international context, which is proved by its capacity of survival to the various crises during its existence.

AFRI 2007 Summary

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