Turkey: We may close the Bosphorus and Dardanelles Straits to warships
After Ukraine asked Turkey to aid it by closing the Bosphorus and Dardanelles Straits, Turkish FM Mevlut Cavusoglu says the Straits may be closed to warships.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusogly announced on Friday that Turkey may close the Bosphorus and Dardanelles Straits to Russian warships, but that even if that happens, Russia will have the right to use it to return its fleet back to base.
Turkey's Hurriyet daily quoted the minister as saying that Ukraine has sent Ankara an official request to close the Straits to Russian warships, and the Montreux Convention is clear in this regard.
According to the 1936 Montreux Convention, Turkey has sovereignty over the Bosphorus and Dardanelles Straits; the Convention allows free passage through the straits for trade ships.
Black Sea nations, according to the Convention, may move military ships of any class through the straits in peacetime by coordinating with Turkey. However, it also limits the class and movement of ships from non-Black Sea nations; Turkey has additional powers to regulate traffic during wartime, and may ban a country from using the straits.
On Thursday, Ukraine's ambassador to Ankara asked Turkey to restrict the passage of Russia's warships through the Bosphorus and Dardanelles Straits.
"I call on the Turkish administration to help Ukraine. We demand that the Bosphorus and Dardanelles Straits be closed to Russian warships," the Yeni Safak daily quoted Ukrainian Ambassador to Turkey Vadily Bodnar as saying.
Ukraine's envoy also called on all countries to establish "a coalition against Russian President Vladimir Putin" in order to stop the war from engulfing more of the region, TASS reported.