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The Montrooks Conference, or for short Montrooks Conference on the Strait of Straits, was enacted in Montreux in 1936, giving Turkey control of the Strait of Phosphorus and Tortonelles and regulating the naval fleet.
The Montreux Convention guarantees the free movement of civilian ships in peacetime and restricts the passage of warships that do not belong to the Black Sea.
The terms of the treaty have been the subject of controversy for years, particularly over Soviet military access to the Mediterranean.
Signed at the Palace of Montreux in Switzerland on July 20, 1936, the treaty allowed Turkey to rehabilitate the strait, which entered into force on November 9, 1936 and was signed in the League of Nations agreement on December 11, 1936 This is still valid. .
Strait of Phosphorus and Tartanelles
In the 19th and 20th centuries, the treaty was one of a series of treaties aimed at resolving the long-running maritime dispute over who would control the key strategic link between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean.
In 1923, the Treaty of Lausanne disarmed Tortonelles and, under the supervision of the International Straits Committee of the League of Nations, opened the strait to unrestricted civilian and military transport.
But in the late 1930s the strategic situation in the Mediterranean changed with the rise of fascist Italy, which controlled the Greek-populated Dodecanese islands off the west coast of Turkey and built forts at Rhodes, Leros and Kos.
The Turks feared that Italy would seek to use access to the strait to expand its power over Anatolia and the Black Sea. There were also fears about Bulgarian reconstruction.
Although Turkey was not allowed to reinforce the strait, it did so in secret.
In April 1935, the Turkish government sent a long diplomatic memorandum to the signatories of the Lawson Treaty, proposed a conference on a new regime agreement for the straits and asked the League of Nations to authorize the reconstruction of the Tortonelles forts.
In a memorandum, Turkish Foreign Minister Davik Rushti Aras explained that the international situation had changed dramatically since 1923. At that time, Europe was moving towards disarmament and an international guarantee for the protection of the strait. With the outbreak of the Abyssinian crisis in 1934 and 1935, Germany’s condemnation of the Treaty of Versailles and the international steps aimed at restructuring the guarantee of protection against the total insecurity of the strait disappeared.
Australia, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Greece, Japan, Romania, the Soviet Union, Turkey, the United Kingdom and Yugoslavia have all agreed to attend the talks, which have started in June in Montreux, Switzerland. December 22, 1936. Two great powers were not represented: Italy, its policy of expansion and occupation was pushed to the conference, it at first refused to attend, and the United States refused to attend. send an observer.
Turkey, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union each came up with their own plans, which were mainly aimed at protecting their interests. The British wanted a continuation of the relatively traditional approach, while the Turks sought a liberal system to reassert their control over the strait and proposed a system that would guarantee complete independence for the passage of the Soviets.
With the support of France, they attempted to withdraw the Soviet Navy from the Mediterranean, as they might have threatened important shipping lanes to India, Egypt and the Far East. In the end, some of the British demands were met, and the Soviet Union succeeded in obtaining certain exemptions from military controls imposed on non-Black Sea countries, including the Soviet Union.
The treaty was ratified by all who attended the conference, with the exception of Germany, which did not sign the Lausanne agreement, and entered into force on November 9, 1936, with reservations from the Japan.
As noted in the preamble, the treaty canceled sections of the strait under the Lawson Treaty, which provided for the militarization of the Greek islands of Lemnos and Smetrock and Dortanelles, the Sea of Marmara and Phosphorus. And the Turkish islands of Amrs, Paschada and Dawshan.
The conference consists of 29 articles, four appendices and a protocol. Articles (2 to 7) deal with the route of merchant ships. Articles 8 to 22 concern the passage of warships.
The fundamental principle of freedom of navigation and navigation is stated in Articles 1 and 2. Article 1 states that “the parties to the international treaty affirm and defend the principle of freedom of navigation and navigation through the strait” . Article 2 states that “merchant ships shall enjoy full freedom of navigation and navigation through the strait in time of peace, day and night, under any flag and under any kind of cargo “.
The International Straits Commission was abolished and the Turkish military ceded complete control of the straits and re-established the Tortonelles. Turkey allowed all foreign warships to close the strait during war or when threatened with occupation. He also acknowledged the refusal of merchant ships from countries involved in the war with Turkey.
Under Section 12, Black Sea nations are allowed to send their submarines through the strait with advance notice until their ships are built off the Black Sea, purchased, or shipped for maintenance.
Fewer regulatory rules applicable to Black Sea countries The real particularity of the Soviet Union was to be the only Black Sea country to have a large number of ships or submarines, apart from Turkey . Civil aircraft were allowed to cross between the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, but only by routes authorized by the Turkish government.
The terms of the treaty largely reflected the international situation in the mid-1930s. It served both Turkish and Soviet interests deeply, helping the Turks regain military control of the straits and consolidate Soviet dominance in the Black Sea.
The deal was in effect, but not without controversy. It was repeatedly challenged by the Soviet Union during World War II and the Cold War. In early 1939, Stalin sought to reopen the Strait issue and proposed joint control of the Turkish-Soviet Strait, “a small country [أي تركيا] With Britain’s backing, she carries a superpower down her throat and leaves her with no way out. ”
After the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Treaty between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov told his German counterparts that he wanted military control of the Soviet Straits and established his own base there. military.
Despite the Soviet “strategy of tension”, Turkey vehemently refused. For many years after World War II, the Soviets enforced restrictions on the number of foreign warships, ensuring that one of their ships remained permanently in the straits and preventing any other country except the Turkey, to send warships into the strait.
Soviet pressure extended to comprehensive demands for amendments from the Montreux Conference which led to the Turkish Straits Crisis of 1946, forcing Turkey to abandon its policy of neutrality. In 1947 he received military and economic aid from the United States under the Truman Doctrine (settlement) and in 1952 he joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization with Greece.
How does this affect Russia?
Russia and Ukraine are in the Black Sea, along with Romania and NATO members Bulgaria and Georgia. Under the Montreux Agreement, Turkey could restrict the movement of Russian warships from the Mediterranean Sea to the Black Sea via its strait, but under a conditional agreement that would allow warships from warring nations to cross if they were returning to their home port.
“If the activist’s ship returns to port, there will be exceptions. We will transparently apply all the terms of the Montreux Agreement,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said, adding that the exception must not be abusive.
Mustafa Aidin, chairman of Turkey’s Council for International Relations, said the move would be symbolic. “Russia has enough gunpowder in the Black Sea and it makes no sense for NATO countries to intervene,” he added, adding that “Russia has absolute sovereignty over the waters.” .
Serhat Guvenk, professor of international relations at Kadir Haas University in Istanbul, said Moscow could feel the heat if the war continues as Russia has already moved units from the Baltic Sea and completed its naval structure in the Black Sea. . Started.
Why did Turkey declare the conflict a war?
Gowing said he did not expect Turkey to make a decision quickly, but Ukrainian President Volodymyr Jelensky smoothed the situation by thanking Turkey in advance for its support via his Twitter account.
Turkey has confirmed that it has always respected the agreement and will continue to do so.
Cowenk said the deal was in Ankara’s interest because it supported Turkey during the war. Any exceptions aimed at pleasing Russia could affect the long-term credibility of the deal.
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