March 7, 2016 | The Kashin-class destroyer named "Semetlivy" belonging to the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Navy, number 870, entered the Bosphorus from the Black Sea and crossed into the Sea of ​​Marmara. During the passage of the ship, the Coast Guard and Marine Police boats accompanied him from the sea, and the police helicopter from the air. (AA)

Perspective: Russian Attack on Ukraine and Turkey’s Approach in Implementing the Montreux Convention

What are the general guidelines for passage through the Turkish Straits according to the Montreux Convention? Is it legally possible for Ukraine and Russia to send their warships through the straits during the ongoing war? Is Turkey obligated to block the passage of both Ukrainian and Russian warships? Should warships of other states that may come to aid Ukraine be allowed to pass? What is Turkey’s approach towards implementing the Montreux Convention?

Narrow maritime passages are critical to ensure the flow of maritime traffic and to prevent threats that may arise therein. The Turkish Straits are located within Turkish territory and play a significant role both in ensuring maritime passage to and from the Black Sea and in preventing possible security threats for the regional countries, especially for Turkey.

Following the Treaty of Lausanne – signed in 1923 at the Lausanne Peace Conference but falling far short of Turkey’s expectations – a new convention on the Turkish Straits was drafted and signed on July 20, 1936, between nine states including Turkey, at the Montreux Straits Conference as a result of Turkey’s efforts in the pre-World War II circumstances. Officially named the Montreux Convention Regarding the Regime of the Straits, it remains the applicable convention on the Turkish Straits…

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