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The TURKISH STRAITS (Turkish : Türk Boğazları) are a series of internationally significant waterways in northwestern Turkey
Turkey
that connect the Aegean and Mediterranean seas to the Black Sea
Black Sea
.

They consist of the Dardanelles
Dardanelles
, the Sea of Marmara
Sea of Marmara
, and the Bosphorus
Bosphorus
, all part of the sovereign sea territory of Turkey
Turkey
and subject to the regime of internal waters. They are conventionally considered the boundary between the continents of Europe
Europe
and Asia
Asia
, as well as the dividing line between European Turkey
Turkey
and Asian Turkey
Turkey
.

Owing to their strategic importance in international commerce, politics, and warfare, the Turkish Straits
Turkish Straits
have played a significant role in European and world history, and have since been governed in accordance with the 1936 Montreux Convention .

CONTENTS

* 1 Geography * 2 Straits Question * 3 See also * 4 References

GEOGRAPHY

As maritime waterways , the Turkish Straits
Turkish Straits
connect various seas along the Eastern Mediterranean , the Balkans
Balkans
, the Near East
Near East
, and Western Eurasia
Western Eurasia
. Specifically, the Straits allows maritime connections from the Black Sea
Black Sea
all the way to the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas , the Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
via Gibraltar , and the Indian Ocean through the Suez Canal
Suez Canal
, making them crucial international waterways, in particular for the passage of goods coming in from Russia
Russia
.

The Turkish Straits
Turkish Straits
are made up of the following waterways;

* The Bosphorus
Bosphorus
(also spelled Bosporus; Turkish : Boğaziçi or İstanbul Boğazı, " Istanbul
Istanbul
Strait"), about 30 kilometers (19 mi) long and only 700 meters (2,300 ft) wide, connects the Sea of Marmara with the Black Sea
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
Bosphorus
Bridge , the Fatih Sultan
Sultan
Mehmet 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. * The Dardanelles
Dardanelles
(Turkish : Çanakkale Boğazı, "Çanakkale Strait"), 68 km (42 mi) long and 1.2 km (0.75 mi) wide, connects the Sea of Marmara
Sea of Marmara
with the Mediterranean in the southwest, near the city of Çanakkale . In classical antiquity , the Dardanelles
Dardanelles
strait was known as the Hellespont
Hellespont
. The strait and the Gallipoli
Gallipoli
(Gelibolu) peninsula on its western shoreline were the scene of the Battle of Gallipoli
Gallipoli
during the First World War
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.

STRAITS QUESTION

Main article: Turkish Straits crisis

The Straits have been of urgent maritime strategic importance since the Trojan War
Trojan War
was fought near the Aegean entrance. In the declining days of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
the "Straits Question" involved the diplomats of Europe
Europe
and the Ottoman Empire.

By the terms of the London Straits Convention concluded on July 13, 1841, between the Great Powers
Great Powers
of Europe
Europe
Russia
Russia
, the United Kingdom , France , Austria and Prussia — the "ancient rule" of the Ottoman Empire
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 Mediterranean.

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 1833 Treaty of Hünkâr İskelesi (U