ANKARA, Turkey (AFP) – Turkey said on Monday that it was barring warships from the vital Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits, in accordance with a treaty that gives it authority over military vessel movement in the area.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu stated, “We have informed both nations in the area and outside not to transport warships via the Black Sea.” “The Montreux Convention is in effect.”

The 1936 Montreux Convention controls the unrestricted passage of commercial ships between the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits during peacetime.

However, if Turkey is threatened, it has the authority to prevent warships from passing through the Dardanelles and Bosphorus Straits, which connect the Aegean, Marmara, and Black Seas.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s president, recently reiterated Turkey’s position as a NATO member, saying that Turkey will “neither leave either Russia or Ukraine” or “cede Turkey’s national interests.”

After a cabinet meeting, he announced, “We have decided to employ the Montreux Convention to prevent the issue from escalating.”

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