|Paper title:|| Civilian Vessel Passage in the Turkish Straits: The First Comprehensive Regulation (1994)
|Published in:||Issue 2 (Vol. 29) / 2023
|Abstract:|| The desire to control the passage regime of the Turkish Straits caused several wars throughout history. For 86 years, beginning with the 20th century, the Montreux Convention (1936) has regulated the long-term transit regime of the Straits. After the Montreux Convention, vessel-building technology progressed at such a rate that several provisions were created to adapt to the newly established Cold War (CW) conditions. Nevertheless, almost all those arrangements were aimed at regulating the passage of naval vessels, and no comprehensive regulation addressing civilian vessels was made until the 1990s. A comprehensive regulation was prepared and issued at the beginning of January 1994 to fill that gap, in compliance with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) of 1982. The new Regulation imposed several new rules and brought restrictions contrary to the freedom of passage guaranteed by international conventions and even by the Montreux Convention. The Russian Federation (RF), as a littoral country, was the first to express strong opposition to the new Regulation, and other countries soon followed. Despite criticism and reasonable concerns, the Regulation came into force six months after its publication, at the beginning of July 1994. However, persistent complaints forced Turkey and the RF to reach an agreement, and four years later, the first Regulation on the Turkish Straits was replaced by a new one. This study examines the rules implemented by the first comprehensive regulation of the Straits in 1994, the protests, objections, and amendments consistent with the provisions of UNCLOS.
|Keywords:|| Turkish Straits, Freedom of Passage, Regulation, Montreux, Contrariety
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