The Turkish Ministry of National Defence recently announced that it will impose restrictions on the passage of warships belonging to countries not bordering the Black Sea within the framework of the Montreux Convention.
- Montreux Convention is an agreement concerning the Dardanelles Strait and the Bosporus Strait, also known as the Turkish straits or the Black Sea straits.
- The Turkish straits are the only maritime passage between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.
- According to the 1936 Montreux Convention Regarding the Regime of the Straits, often referred to simply as the Montreux Convention, Turkey has control over the Turkish Straits.
- In the event of a war, the pact gives Turkey the right to regulate the transit of naval warships and to block the straits for warships belonging to the countries involved in the conflict.
- Merchant vessels enjoy freedom of passage through the Turkish Straits, while passages of vessels of war are subject to some restrictions that vary depending on whether these vessels belong to the Black Sea littoral States or not.
- Besides some general restrictions applicable to all, vessels of war belonging to non-littoral States are subject to specific restrictions, such as those regarding maximum aggregate tonnage and duration of stay in the Black Sea.