Turkish Straits (Turkish: Türk Boğazları) are a series of
internationally significant waterways in northwestern
connect the Aegean and Mediterranean seas to the Black Sea. They
consist of the Dardanelles, the Sea of Marmara, and the Bosphorus, all
part of the sovereign sea territory of
Turkey and subject to the
regime of internal waters.
Located in the western part of the landmass of Eurasia, the Turkish
Straits are conventionally considered the boundary between the
Europe and Asia, as well as the dividing line between
Turkey and Asian Turkey. Owing to their strategic importance
in international commerce, politics, and warfare, the Turkish Straits
have played a significant role in European and world history, and have
since been governed in accordance with the 1936 Montreux Convention.
2 Straits Question
3 See also
As maritime waterways, the
Turkish Straits connect various seas along
the Eastern Mediterranean, the Balkans, the Near East, and Western
Eurasia. Specifically, the Straits allows maritime connections from
Black Sea all the way to the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas, the
Atlantic Ocean via Gibraltar, and the
Indian Ocean through the Suez
Canal, making them crucial international waterways, in particular for
the passage of goods coming in from Russia.
Turkish Straits are made up of the following waterways;
Bosphorus (also spelled Bosporus; Turkish: Boğaziçi or İstanbul
Istanbul Strait"), about 30 kilometers (19 mi) long
and only 700 meters (2,300 ft) wide, connects the Sea of Marmara
Black Sea in the north. It runs through the city of Istanbul,
making it a city located on two continents. It is crossed by three
suspension bridges (the
Bosphorus Bridge, the Fatih
Bridge and the Yavuz
Sultan Selim Bridge) and the underwater Marmaray
rail tunnel. There is a second underwater tunnel currently under
construction for road users. There are plans for further crossings
being debated at various stages.
Çanakkale Boğazı, "
68 km (42 mi) long and 1.2 km (0.75 mi) wide,
Sea of Marmara
Sea of Marmara with the Mediterranean in the southwest,
near the city of Çanakkale. In classical antiquity, the Dardanelles
strait was known as the Hellespont. The strait and the Gallipoli
(Gelibolu) peninsula on its western shoreline were the scene of the
Gallipoli during the First World War. Currently, there are
no crossings across the strait, but plans have been offered in recent
years for a suspension bridge project as part of proposed expansions
to the national highway network.
Developments of economic activities threaten marine ecosystem
including endemic dolphins and harbour porpoises.
Turkish Straits crisis
The Straits have been of urgent maritime strategic importance since
Trojan War was fought near the Aegean entrance. In the declining
days of the
Ottoman Empire the "Straits Question" involved the
Europe and the Ottoman Empire.
By the terms of the
London Straits Convention
London Straits Convention concluded on July 13,
1841, between the
Great Powers of
Europe — Russia, the United
Kingdom, France, Austria and Prussia — the "ancient rule" of the
Ottoman Empire was re-established by closing the Turkish straits to
all warships whatsoever, barring those of the sultan's allies during
wartime. It thus benefited British naval power at the expense of
Russian as the latter lacked direct access for its navy to the
The treaty is one in a series dealing with access to the Bosphorus,
the Sea of Marmara, and the Dardanelles. It evolved from the secret
Treaty of Hünkâr İskelesi
Treaty of Hünkâr İskelesi (Unkiar Skelessi), in which the
Ottoman Empire guaranteed exclusive use of the Straits to "Black Sea
Ottoman Empire and Russian Empire) warships in the case
of a general war.
The modern treaty controlling relations is the 1936 Montreux
Convention Regarding the Regime of the Turkish Straits, which is still
in force. It gives the Republic of
Turkey control over warships
entering the straits but guarantees the free passage of civilian
vessels in peacetime.
List of maritime incidents in the Turkish Straits
United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea
^ Khan S.. 2013. An Economic Boom in
Turkey Takes a Toll on Marine
Life. Yale Environment 360. Retrieved on September 06, 2017
^ Christos L. Rozakis (1987). The Turkish Straits. Martinus Nijhoff
Publishers. pp. 24–25.
Coordinates: 40°43′21″N 28°13′29″E / 40.7225°N