Ankara Prosecutor General’s Office Opens Investigation into Letter in Defense of the Montreux Convention

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Ankara Prosecutor General's Office Opens Investigation into Letter in Defense of the Montreux Convention

The department intends to establish who prepared this statement and who is associated with this document
Ankara’s Prosecutor General’s Office has initiated an investigation into 103 retired Turkish admirals, who expressed concern in an open letter about the discussion about the possibility of Turkey’s withdrawal from the Montreux Convention on the status of the Bosphorus and Dardanelles. This was reported on Sunday by the NTV channel.

It is noted that the Prosecutor General’s Office intends to establish who prepared the statement and who is associated with this letter.

The admirals who signed the letter said that they “are following with concern the discussion of the creation of the Istanbul channel and the Montreux Convention in the context of the jurisdiction of the abolition of international treaties.” “The Montreux Convention is the main security document of the Black Sea countries and the convention that makes the Black Sea the sea of ​​peace. This convention gives Turkey the right not to enter the war without its desire on the side of one of the belligerents, this allowed it to remain neutral in World War II,” retired military men are sure. They also believe that it is necessary to preserve the current constitution of Turkey against the background of the initiative of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan to develop a new constitution.

This letter has already been criticized by the head of the public relations department of the Turkish presidential administration, Fahrettin Altun.

About the new channel
The project to build a new canal 100 km west of Istanbul was first announced by Erdogan ahead of the 2011 elections. It is assumed that the canal will be able to handle about 160 ships per day, including tankers with a net carrying capacity of up to 300 thousand tons. Today 53 thousand ships pass through the Bosphorus Strait a year.

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Turkey planned to start construction of a new 51 km canal back in 2018. The approximate cost of the project is $ 10 billion. The work was planned to be completed in 2023 when the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Turkey will be celebrated.

In December 2019, Erdogan expressed the opinion that the maritime traffic through the Istanbul Canal projected west of the Bosphorus would not be subject to the Montreux Convention, which regulates the passage of warships through the Turkish straits. The Turkish opposition, including the mayor of Istanbul, Ekrem Imamoglu, opposes the initiative.

Montreux Convention
The Montreux Convention of 1936 restored Turkey’s sovereignty over the Bosphorus and Dardanelles, it was adopted at the conference on the regime of the Black Sea straits, held June 22 – July 21, 1936, in the city of Montreux (Switzerland). The Convention preserves freedom of passage through the straits only for merchant ships. At the same time, the mode of passage is different for warships of the Black Sea and non-Black Sea states. Thus, subject to prior notification of the Turkish authorities, the Black Sea powers can conduct their warships of any class through the straits in peacetime. Substantial class and tonnage restrictions have been introduced for warships of the non-Black Sea powers.