Announcement on shipping – admirals protest against Erdogan’s “craziest project”

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wants to dig a huge canal parallel to the Bosphorus. More than a hundred retired admirals believed this could endanger Turkish sovereignty. The elimination reacts instantly.

The Turkish army has always been a factor of strength in the country: President Erdoan with high-ranking officers in front of the mausoleum of the founder of the republic, Kemal Ataturk.

Photo: Adem Altan (Getty)

A political statement by more than a hundred former admirals keeps Turkey in a state of suspense. Warned 104 retired officers from the Kriegsmarine of the danger that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s policies of the Montreux Agreement were jeopardized; The treaty has regulated international shipping in the Bosporus and the Dardanelles for more than 80 years. Then the judiciary raised the charge of endangering the security of the state and making the 104 former officers coup makers. Ten former admirals were arrested, and four others were questioned by prosecutors.

The background to the Marine Officers’ announcement is President Erdoan’s plan to build a giant shipping channel parallel to the Bosphorus. These same plans are older, but they have taken shape in the past few weeks. According to Erdogan, the Bosporus, which is frequented by a lot of international shipping, will reduce this channel, and thus the risks of dangerous environmental accidents from the huge tankers and cargo ships that pass through the Bosphorus every day will be reduced.

Pact of 1936

After the president recently left Istanbul Convention The protection of women announced, with regard to the canal plans, the question that now arises is whether Turkey can also terminate the Montreux Convention. In light of the renewed controversy over the canal, 104 naval officers released their statement warning against withdrawing from the Montreux Treaty as this could jeopardize Turkish sovereignty over the Dardanelles and the Bosphorus.

The agreement that began in 1936 regulates passage through the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles – the two straits between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. The agreement is the basis for shipping on one of the most important international waterways, and affects civil and military shipping. The treaty restored Turkey’s sovereignty over the Bosphorus, the Sea of ​​Marmara, and the Dardanelles: the Ottoman Empire, as the predecessor state of the Turkish Republic, lost control of the waterway after losing World War I on the side of Germany.

According to the Montreux Convention, merchant ships are guaranteed freedom of passage in peacetime. Warships coming from the countries bordering the Black Sea are permitted to pass. Non-resident warships are allowed to cross the Bosphorus up to a certain size and only stay for a short time in the Black Sea.

Environmentalists warned

Erdogan wants to build an alternative waterway to the Bosphorus. Canal Istanbul is a luxury project, which the president himself called “my craziest project.” Environmentalists warn that the canal will damage the environment. According to Erdogan’s office, the channel will have no influence on the Montreux Agreement.

The background to the crackdown on the judiciary is likely to add to the government’s unwanted background criticism On the channel that Erdogan has been cleaning the armed forces of the last Kemalists since the failed coup in 2016. The armed forces used to be the bastion of the Kemalists and the secularists, who invoke the ideology of the founder of the state Kemal Ataturk and reject Erdogan’s Islamic policies. The lawyer for the arrested officers said that the admiral’s message “does not differ from previous publications of former diplomats.” Among those arrested is the prominent Admiral Jim Gordenes, who developed the geopolitical theory “The Blue Homeland”, which is the basis for Turkey’s aggressive actions in the Mediterranean.

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