Turkish Straits

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Turkish Straits is located in Europe
Bosphorus
Dardanelles
A map depicting the locations of the Turkish Straits, with the Bosphorus in red, and the Dardanelles in yellow. The sovereign national territory of Turkey is highlighted in green.
The Bosphorus (red), the Dardanelles (yellow), and the Sea of Marmara in between, are known collectively as the Turkish Straits
Satellite image of the Bosphorus, taken from the ISS in April 2004. The body of water at the top is the Black Sea, the one at the bottom is the Marmara Sea, and the Bosphorus is the winding vertical waterway that connects the two. The western banks of the Bosphorus constitute the geographic starting point of the European continent, while the banks to the east are the geographic beginnings of the continent of Asia. The city of Istanbul is visible along both banks.
Satellite image of the Dardanelles, taken from the Landsat 7 in September 2006. The body of water at the upper left is the Aegean Sea, while the one on the upper right is the Sea of Marmara. The long, narrow upper peninsula is Gallipoli (Turkish: Gelibolu), and constitutes the banks of the continent of Europe, while the lower peninsula is Troad (Turkish: Biga) and constitutes the banks of the continent of Asia. The Dardanelles is the tapered waterway running diagonally between the two peninsulas, from the northeast to the southwest. The city of Çanakkale is visible along the shores of the lower peninsula, centered at the only point where a sharp outcropping juts into the otherwise-linear Dardanelles.

The Turkish Straits (Turkish: Türk Boğazları) are a series of internationally significant waterways in northwest Turkey that 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. They are conventionally considered the boundary between the continents of Europe and Asia, as well as the dividing line between European Turkey and Asian Turkey.

Owing to their strategic importance in international commerce, politics, and warfare, the Turkish Straits have been governed since 1936 by the Montreux Convention.

Geography[edit]

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 the 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.

The Turkish Straits are made up of the following waterways;

Straits Question[edit]

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

By the terms of the London Straits Convention concluded on July 13, 1841, between the Great Powers of EuropeRussia, 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 Mediterranean.[1]

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 (Unkiar Skelessi), in which the Ottoman Empire guaranteed exclusive use of the Straits to "Black Sea Powers" (i.e., 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.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 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 28.2247°E / 40.7225; 28.2247