Turkey Imposes New Rules on Transiting Turkish Straits

Turkey Imposes New Rules on Transiting Turkish Straits

Istanbul: Turkey has imposed new rules for vessels transiting through the Bosphorus Strait in Istanbul and the Dardanelles Strait in the northwestern province of Canakkale, local media reported Monday. The rules were introduced given increased risks associated with transit passages from the straits, CNNTurk reported.

Under new regulations, captains have to submit a safety list to the Turkish authorities 3.2 km before entering the straits.

Captains of passenger and container ships longer than 300 meters have to inform officials of their crossing 10 days before the entrance. The 30-km-long Bosphorus flows between the Asian and European parts of Istanbul, connecting the Black Sea and the Aegean Sea. With a minimum width of 750 meters, the strait usually has strong currents and several sharp turns. The 61-km-long Dardanelles connects the Marmara Sea to the Mediterranean.

The two straits are among the busiest waterways in the world with a high volume of transit vessels, car ferries, fishing boats and excursion craft. Following a number of serious incidents in the straits, Turkey adopted a series of safety measures in 1994. Turkey's Foreign Ministry said in a report that the number of oil tankers and other dangerous cargo vessels passing through the Turkish straits has drastically increased in recent years. According to the ministry's data, 8,832 tankers, carrying a total of 147 million tons of hazardous cargo, passed through the Bosphorus in 2017, up from 136 million in 2016. In April, a tanker crashed into a historic mansion of the Bosphorus, causing extensive damage. (IANS)

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