“Turkey in the Black Sea: Is a Balancing Act Still Possible?”, Çigdem Üstün (IAI, Italy)  

Turkey has placed efforts towards establishing amicable relations with Russia while being a part of the Western alliance. Just after the start of the Russia-Ukraine war, Turkey’s position in the region and the possible closure of the Bosporus and Dardanelles Straits became one of the main debated issues. According to the 1936 Montreux Convention, which regulates maritime traffic through the Black Sea, Turkey has the right to prevent warships crossing the Straits, giving Turkey considerable power in the region. According to the Convention, Turkey must guarantee freedom of passage for all civilian and commercial vessels during peace time. However, in war time, there are several articles regulating the passage of commercial and military vessels depending on Turkey’s position in the war, i.e., whether it is a belligerent country or not, and whether it considers itself under threat or not. In war time, therefore, different rules apply.

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