Turkey will block some Russian warships from entering straits
Even though a new position is assumed as a “shift” in the western world, Minister Çavuşoğlu explained that it is not. Çavuşoğlu said that Turkey now considered Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine to be a “war”. Turkey’s new position is based on that word because the terms of the 1936 Montreux Convention governs the use of the two channels that link the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. Turkey has the right to prevent some warships from crossing if they belong to “belligerent powers”.“At the beginning, what Russia was doing was an attack,” Çavuşoğlu told the Turkish TV Channel, CNN Turk. “We assessed it with experts, soldiers, lawyers. Now, this has turned into a war.”Though he did not announce the immediate closure of the straits, Çavuşoğlu said that the Montreux Convention’s 19th article, which sets out the rules for times of war, was “obvious”.“Turkey had always implemented the Montreux Agreement to the letter,” he said, adding: “In these conditions, we will also implement the Montreux Convention.”The immediate impact of closing the straits would be limited, given that Russia has already assembled a large naval fleet in the Black Sea. An exception in the Montreux agreement also means that Russian warships would still be allowed to traverse the straits to return to their bases.Article 19:In time of war, Turkey not being belligerent, warships shall enjoy complete freedom of transit and navigation through the Straits under the same conditions as those laid down in Articles 10 to 18. Vessels of war belonging to belligerent Powers shall not, however, pass through the Straits except in cases arising out of the application of Article 25 of the present Convention, and in cases of assistance rendered to a State victim of aggression in virtue of a treaty of mutual assistance binding Turkey, concluded within the framework of the Covenant of the League of Nations, and registered and published in accordance with the provisions of Article 18 of the Covenant. In the exceptional cases provided for in the preceding paragraph, the limitations laid down in Articles 10 to 18 of the present Convention shall not be applicable. Notwithstanding the prohibition of passage laid down in paragraph 2 above, vessels of war belonging to belligerent Powers, whether they are Black Sea Powers or not, which have become separated from their bases, may return thereto. Vessels of war belonging to belligerent Powers shall not make any capture, exercise the right of visit and search, or carry out any hostile act in the Straits.