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'Turkey will abide by pact on movement of naval ships', FM says

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu makes a speech as he holds a joint press conference with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias following their meeting in Ankara, Turkey on 15 April 2021. [Fatih Aktaş - Anadolu Agency]
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu makes a speech as he holds a joint press conference with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias following their meeting in Ankara, Turkey on 15 April 2021. [Fatih Aktaş - Anadolu Agency]

Turkey will continue to carefully abide by the decades-old international pact, Montreux Convention, governing the Istanbul Straits leading into the Black Sea, the foreign minister said yesterday.

Mevlut Cavusoglu said: "In the last century, the Black Sea was never a sea of military confrontation, not even during World War II."

The Montreux Convention was signed in 1936, giving Turkey control over its straits and authority to regulate the transit of naval warships. It stipulates free pass of trade ships through the straits, while significantly limiting the passage of non-Black Sea states' military ships. With prior notification of Turkish authorities, Black Sea states can move any military ships through the straits during peaceful periods.

This comes as Turkey announced last month that plans for the construction of the Istanbul Canal, which will connect the Black Sea north of Istanbul to the Sea of Marmara to the south, had been approved. This may provide non-Black Sea states access to an alternative route for the passage of their military ships.

READ: Is the Istanbul Canal Erdogan's personal or Turkey's national project?

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