Kanal Istanbul has nothing to do with Montreux Convention: Erdoğan
Kanal Istanbul has nothing to do with the Montreux Convention, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Wednesday as he vowed that the huge waterway project on the edge of Istanbul is about Turkey's sovereign rights and would bring major relief to the city, Daily Sabah reports.
The convention is a 1936 agreement that gives Turkey control over the Bosporus and Dardanelles and regulates the transit of naval warships.
It guarantees the free passage of civilian vessels in times of peace and limits the passage of naval ships that do not belong to littoral Black Sea states and governs foreign cargo ships.
“Kanal Istanbul, which has nothing to do with the Montreux Convention, will bring Turkey greater comfort and peace,” Erdoğan told a meeting in the capital Ankara.
Erdoğan earlier this month said Turkey remained committed to the accord but could review it in the future.
Signed on July 20, 1936, at the Montreux Palace in Switzerland, the convention gives Turkey permission to remilitarize the Bosporus and Dardanelles. It went into effect on Nov. 9, 1936, and was registered in the League of Nations Treaty Series on Dec. 11, 1936.
Turkey moves forward with plans to construct the huge Kanal Istanbul waterway project that will connect the Black Sea north of Istanbul to the Marmara Sea to the south, parallel to the Bosporus. It is estimated to cost over TL 75 billion ($9.2 billion).
Officials have said Montreux would not cover the canal.
The government says it will ease traffic on the Bosporus Strait, one of the world’s busiest maritime passages, and prevent accidents similar to those in previous years.