Upon Ukraine’s demand from Turkey to close the Bosporus and Dardanelles straits to Russia’s naval warships, as well as imposing sanctions on Moscow, opposition parties CHP and HDP in Turkey called on the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to remain committed to the Montreux Convention, an international treaty on the control and navigation of the Bosporus and Dardanelles straits by warships.
The Central Executive Board of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) issued a written statement regarding Russia’s military operation in eastern Ukraine.
Tensions between Russia and Ukraine have begun the war today, the statement said and continued:
“We call on the Russian Government to cease military operations and restart negotiations in adherence to the Minsk Agreement.” HDP said and also called for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) regarding the Montreux Convention Regarding the Regime of the Straits which is a 1936 agreement that gives Turkey control over the Bosporus and Dardanelles Straits and regulates the transit of naval warships.
The Convention guarantees the free passage of civilian vessels in peacetime, and restricts the passage of naval ships not belonging to Black Sea states.
“We call on the AKP government to fulfil all its responsibilities arising from the Montreux Convention Regarding the Regime of the Straits” HDP stated.
The full statement of the HDP is as follows:
“Tensions between Ukraine and Russia that has been continuing since 2014 have opened the door to a major war and catastrophe with today’s developments. What is happening in Ukraine is not only a tension between the two neighbouring countries, but also it is a struggle for sovereignty between NATO and Russia.
We reject Russia’s military intervention which is in violation of international law. We call on the Russian government to cease military operations and restart the negotiations in adherence to the Minsk Agreement.
We call on the Government of Ukraine to abandon any position that will only increase tensions between the two blocs, and we support attempts to establish dialogue with Russia.
We call on the AKP Government to fulfil all its responsibilities arising from the Montreux Convention Regarding the Regime of the Straits.
We call on international institutions, especially the United Nations and the OSCE, to take the initiative to protect civilians and prevent humanitarian tragedies.”
Turkey’s main opposition party Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu also said that Turkey should remain committed to the Montreux Convention.
“The convention is very important for Turkey’s security ” Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said, adding “It should not be implemented in a different way under the influence of others.” Presumably alluding to any potential pressure from Russia for access to the straits.
Kılıçdaroğlu also criticised Turkey’s economic dependance on Russia.
“Since 2019 I’ve been warning the AKP government. You can’t make the economy of a country so dependent on one other country. We have come to a point where we will be devastated when they don’t send tourists. We will be devastated when they don’t deliver natural gas.”
Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he spoke to Ukraine’s President Zelensky about Russia’s military operation and the latest developments during a phone call today and said “The military operation launched by Russia to Ukraine is not acceptable”, however, regarding the Montreux Convention no official statement has been made yet.