While the situation concerning the passage and navigation of warships through the straits of Bosporus and Dardanelles after the invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces still remains in question, the Turkish foreign minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said in a live interview at CNN Türk on Sunday:
“Turkey will implement all provisions of the Montreux Convention with transparency.”
In a previous statement, the Turkish FM had stated that the ministry was working to figure out if the situation in Ukraine could be recognised as warfare. He had added that the Russian warships had the right to passage for the purpose of returning to their registered bases according to the 1936 Montreux Convention even if it was assessed that a warfare situation was concerned.
Çavuşoğlu commented on the live broadcast saying:
“The passage of warships of littoral or non-littoral states is regulated in the Montreux Convention. Turkey has been acting strictly in accordance with the convention to this day, and in this recent situation, we will keep acting accordingly. The 19th article of the convention is clear. The situation began with an attack by Russia. We assessed the situation with experts. It has turned into a war. This is not just a military operation, it is a full blown war.”
The 19th article of the convention gives Turkey the right to close the straits to warships in the case of a war, but as in the case of warships belonging to littoral countries, which are returning to their registered bases, they have right to passage.