Yet CAVUSOGLU, Turkish foreign minister/ Photo’s source: twitter.com
On February 27th, 2022, Turkey called Russia’s invasion of Ukraine a war in a rhetorical shift that could pave the way for the NATO member nation to implement parts of an international pact, potentially limiting the transit of Russian warships from the Mediterranean to the Black Sea. Kyiv had appealed to Ankara to block any more Russian ships from entering the Black Sea, from which Moscow launched an incursion on Ukraine’s southern coast. At least six Russian warships and a submarine transited Turkey’s straits this month.
According to the 1936 Montreux Convention, Turkey has control over the Dardanelles and Bosphorus straits that connect the Mediterranean and Black seas and can limit the passage of warships during wartime or if threatened.
Yet CAVUSOGLU, Turkish foreign minister, reiterated that Turkey cannot block all Russian warships accessing the Black Sea, due to a clause in the pact exempting those returning to their registered base.
Turkey has cultivated good ties with both Russia and Ukraine. Any step against Moscow could harm its heavy energy and commodity imports and its tourism sector at a time of domestic economic turmoil. “There should not be any abuse of this exemption. Ships that declare returning to their bases and passing through the straits should not be involved in the war” CAVUSOGLU said.
“On the fourth day of the Ukraine war, we repeat President ERDOGAN’s call for an immediate halt of Russian attacks and the start of ceasefire negotiations” presidential spokesperson Ibrahim KALIN said on Twitter.
This article was edited using the data from Reuters.com, Aljazeera.com, Middleeasteye.net, English.alarabiya.net, and Aa.com.tr