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Turkey’s Geopolitical Position and its Role as an Energy Corridor

cannot be dissociated from the importance of the Black Sea maritime area when considered from the standpoint of energy security.

The Russian Federation uses the Black Sea maritime area to increase the routes of its gas exports to Europe. The details of this subject are discussed in the section, “Turkey as an energy corridor.” The security of this area is of vital importance both for the recipient and supplier countries of oil and gas from this region; and Turkey is in a position to contribute to this security as will be explained below.

The Provisions of the Montreux Convention


Defined by an international Convention signed in Montreux in 1936, the Black Sea has a unique status. This Convention makes a distinction between the rights of the littoral countries of the Black Sea and the rights of those non-littoral countries; its most important provisions limit the tonnage of the military vessels of the non-littoral countries and are summarized as follows:

• The tonnage, which any one non-Black Sea Power may have in the Black Sea, shall be limited to two-thirds of the aggregate tonnage of the strongest fleet in the Black Sea. • The aggregate tonnage of the vessels of the non-Black Sea Powers shall not exceed 30,000 tons.

• This upper limit may be increased to 45,000 tons in case the tonnage of the strongest fleet in the Black Sea is increased above this figure.

• Non-littoral countries are not allowed to keep their military vessels more than 21 days in the Black Sea. 108

The aim of these restrictions was not to discriminate between one set of countries and another, but to avoid a military confrontation in the Black Sea. This aim seems to have been achieved since the Black Sea has been spared from military confrontation despite the fact that it constituted the dividing line between two opposing military alliances, namely NATO and the Warsaw Pact, for several decades. YASAR YAKIS

Turkey on the European Doorstep  

A Publication based on the International Conference organised at the European Parliament/Brussels by Dr. ELENI THEOCHAROUS, Member of the Eu...

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