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Balance Of Power In The Black Sea: Will The Montreux Convention Prevail?

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Balance Of Power In The Black Sea: Will The Montreux Convention Prevail?

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Written by Brian Kalman exclusively for SouthFront.

The current deterioration of any hopes of a lasting “ceasefire” in the eastern Ukraine, have brought not only the long smoldering conflict back into the forefront of global media attention, but have also presented an opportunity for several geopolitical rivals to take advantage of the situation for their own perceived benefit. Russia responded rapidly to immediate signals from the Kiev government that it fully intended to explore yet another military campaign to resolve the long-standing stalemate in the Donbass and a possible invasion of the Crimean Peninsula.

On March 29th, the Ukrainian Parliament (Verkhovna Rada) officially adopted Resolution No. 5312, which is a clear departure from the Minsk Agreement and labels Russia as the unequivocal aggressor and responsible party for the conflict. Within days, the Ukrainian Armed Forces began moving large amounts of heavy equipment and materiel up to the line of contact and advanced some units within the demilitarized zone. The Zelensky government made very public calls for support from NATO, the United Kingdom and the United States, which were reciprocated in short order. Russia responded with warnings to Kiev to deescalate, coupled with deployments of military units along the south-eastern border with Ukraine, and reinforcement of units tasked with safeguarding the Crimea.

Within a week of the provocative parliamentary vote, over 100 former Turkish Navy officers committed their signatures to an open letter criticizing the Erdogan government’s decisions related to maritime matters and demanded that he maintain Turkey’s commitment to the Montreux Convention. Ten former admirals that signed the letter were swiftly arrested and painted as traitors planning a governmental coup. This story was briefly covered by corporate media, but quickly dropped off the radar. Was this incident aimed at undermining the Erdogan government, or a diplomatic ploy created by the Erdogan government? There are ample reasons to support either assertion. The timing of the incident, in close relation to developments vis-à-vis Russian and Ukraine, are far from coincidental.

Erdogan himself has made a number of statements regarding his administration’s willingness to re-evaluate whether the Montreux Doctrine should be revised or abandoned. Most of these comments were linked to media questions regarding the proposed Istanbul Canal, a $10 billion project that would construct a canal parallel to the busy Bosporus Strait. The Istanbul Canal project has been proposed off and on since 2011, with referrals for proposals from likely contractors solicited since 2013. But why the sudden reinjection of the topic of the Montreux Doctrine in such a dramatic fashion now? The timing seems far from a coincidence.

Balance Of Power In The Black Sea: Will The Montreux Convention Prevail?

Although logical allies against a common rival, President Erdogan harbors his own designs for Crimea that do not include Ukraine. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

Is Turkey signaling a possible departure from the international compact, signed in 1936, as an attempt to put pressure on Russian efforts to defend Crimea and respond to NATO assurances of support for Ukraine? What benefits would be achieved by Turkey pulling out of the treaty? Ukrainian president Zelensky made an official visit to Turkey and met with Erdogan on April 10th to discuss defense cooperation amongst numerous other topics. Erdogan reiterated his administrations commitment to Ukraine’s national sovereignty yet saw the Minsk Agreement as the vehicle to achieve a solution to the current impasse. He also voiced support for the official inclusion of Ukraine as a full member of the NATO alliance in the future. More than a few mixed messages to say the least.

Montreux Convention: A Brief Overview

The Regime of the Straits as first adopted by signatories in 1936 in Montreux, Switzerland attempted to govern the movement of commercial and military traffic through the Bosporus and Dardanelles Straits. This treaty once adopted, replaced the previous Lausanne Treaty of 1923. Clearly a major diplomatic victory for Turkey, the nation maintained sovereignty over the maritime territory of the Bosporus Strait, Strait of Dardanelles, and the Sea of Marmora and gave it the ability to close this major maritime traffic lane to any belligerent of Turkey in time of war. More importantly, it has minimized the ability of any nation whose territory does not border the Black Sea to transit significant amounts of naval warships into the Black Sea. This was a major concern of many of the signatories at the time of its adoption at the onset of the Second World War, chief amongst them the Soviet Union.

Balance Of Power In The Black Sea: Will The Montreux Convention Prevail?

The strategically important maritime bottleneck that is controlled by Turkey and governed by the Montreux Convention. Approximately 50,000 vessels a year move through this waterway, along with 3 million barrels of oil every day.

On one hand, aggregate tonnage limitations imposed on non-Black Sea powers severely limits the size and total number of surface warfare vessels that can transit the straits and enter the Black Sea, and these vessels can only remain in the Black Sea for a period of 21 days. On the other hand, the limitation on movements of vessels through the straits does affect the naval movements of the Black Sea nations. The movement of submarines is significantly hampered by Article 12 as follows:

Black Sea Powers shall have the right to send through the Straits, for the purpose of rejoining their base, submarines constructed or purchased outside the Black Sea, provided that adequate notice of the laying down or purchase of such submarines shall have been given to Turkey.

Submarines belonging to the said Powers shall also be entitled to pass through the Straits to be repaired in dockyards outside the Black Sea on condition that detailed information on the matter is given to Turkey.

In either case, the said submarines must travel by day and on the surface, and must pass through the Straits singly.

Understanding how the limitations imposed by the Montreux Convention effect Russian submarine movements illustrate a major challenge for Russian submarine deployments in the Mediterranean. A Russian naval base capable of major repair, supply and retrofitting is required outside of the Dardanelles (such as Tartus, Syria) is required to facilitate a sustained Russian submarine presence in the Mediterranean.

An additional limitation of significance is the agreement’s prohibition of the transit of aircraft carriers. The Montreux Convention describes an aircraft carrier under Annex II:

Aircraft Carriers are surface vessels of war, whatever their displacement, designed or adapted primarily for the purpose of carrying and operating aircraft at sea. The fitting of a landing-on or flying-off deck on any vessel of war, provided such vessel has not been designed or adapted primarily for the purpose of carrying and operating aircraft at sea, shall not cause any vessel so fitted to be classified in the category of aircraft carrier.

One of the reasons why the Soviet Union classified the Kiev class and Kuznetsov class vessels as “heavy aircraft carrying cruiser” was to circumvent this restriction. Their primary armament comprised of ant-aircraft missiles and anti-ship missiles, with the small complement of Yak-38 VTOL meant for fleet defense. The acceptance of the heavy aircraft carrying cruiser moniker under the Montreux Convention arguably required the acquiescence of friendly Turkey, especially one that was a NATO member.

Throughout the 85-year history of the convention, the Black Sea has remained largely demilitarized and stable, with the Black Sea states keeping modest fleets in this maritime area. Even during World War II, Turkey’s neutrality and administration of the convention greatly limited the injection of large naval fleets into the Black Sea. Coupled with the impediment of Gibraltar, Nazi Germany only introduced small numbers of patrol boats and submarines to the region, with these having to make most of the transit overland, requiring them to be assembled and launched from Axis controlled territory along the coast.

2021: Ukraine Conflict Reignition?

As the situation along the conflict line in eastern Ukraine continues to further deteriorate, and the statements coming out of Ukraine, NATO and the U.S. become exceedingly provocative, the likelihood of a significant armed conflict reigniting on an even larger scale increase with each passing day. Russia has voiced its concerns and made its “red lines” know to all, has mobilized a large amount of personnel and military hardware, and positioned it close to the border with eastern Ukraine. It has reinforced the defense of Crimea significantly. Russia has conducted its movements of troops and materiel quite overtly, with no attempts to conceal them. This clearly communicates the Russian movements are in fact a reaction to developments in the region and a are designed as a deterrent, not the signs of a premeditated offensive as the corporate media would have the world believe.

By contrast, the United States has sent numerous military transport aircraft loaded with unknown payloads to Ukraine in the past few days. Although the flights were not hidden per se, questions regarding their purpose were not answered by various Biden Administration press secretaries. This can hardly be seen as an attempt to achieve strategic ambiguity, as the U.S. has been supplying Ukraine with billions of dollars in military aid since the conflict began in 2014. The United States requested transit approval from Turkey of the Straits for two U.S. Navy warships 15 days ahead of the proposed transit as required by the Montreux Convention. Turkey granted the request. Although the U.S. Navy’s 6th Fleet routinely sends warships into the Black Sea and had three vessels in the area during the previous month, the official reasons given for this deployment were that the U.S. was providing a show of support for Ukraine and attempting to provide “stability” in the region. After a call between presidents Biden and Putin on April 15th, the U.S. Navy rescinded its transit request. This was a welcome step toward de-escalation.

Balance Of Power In The Black Sea: Will The Montreux Convention Prevail?

USS Carney DDG 64 during a previous naval deployment that took her into the Black Sea and an official visit to the port of Odessa, Ukraine in 2017. She is currently in drydock undergoing a full modernization overhaul in Jacksonville, FL.

All the above developments are happening with the backdrop of the commencement of NATO operation Defender Europe 2021 back on March 15th. As the training exercise ramps up in May it will engage approximately 28,000 personnel from 27 participating countries. Approximately 20,000 of these troops will be deployed from the U.S., along with heavy equipment shipped to the continent for the U.S. Army’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team and 3rd Infantry Division. The majority of armored vehicles and war materiel will be mobilized from pre-position depots in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. Exercises will simulate and test the response to a Russian invasion of NATO members and friendly nations, i.e., Ukraine. Exercises will take place in Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, and Ukraine.

Quite ironically, Air Force Gen. Tod Wolters, NATO’s supreme allied commander stated after last year’s Defender Europe 2020 that,

“We’ve seen a fair amount of response from Russia. They’re not overly pleased with Defender Europe 20. We’re concerned mostly about the readiness of our forces and we’re doing all that in accordance with international law.”

Somehow it is acceptable for the U.S. to move tens of thousands of troops and equipment thousands of miles across the Atlantic Ocean to conduct military exercises on foreign soil, yet it is unacceptable for Russia to conduct similar exercises on its own soil, yet both are clearly in accordance with international law. Could General Wolters grasp that Russia’s displeasure might be influenced by the long list of broken promises related to NATO expansion into previous Warsaw Pact nations over the past thirty years? How about Operation Barbarossa of 1941, which saw a massive invasion of the nation by Nazi Germany, Bulgaria, and Romania, with Hungary and Italy also participating to a greater degree after the initial operation? Russia learned a tragic lesson in this case and one that it will never allow to happen again. Perhaps it would help for General Wolters to crack the binding of a history book or two about Russia in the near future.

What Role will Turkey Decide to Play?

Turkey has a multitude of options open to it in case the current conflict in Ukraine develops into open warfare between Ukraine and Russia. President Erdogan is a very shrewd and calculated politician, who would undoubtedly hedge his bets and alter Turkey’s strategic position as the situation developed. Turkey’s strategic calculus would depend largely on the level of response exhibited by Russia in its reaction to any move by Kiev to break the stalemate in the Donbass region, or any direct military threat on Crimea. A direct move on Crimea is highly unlikely, as Russia was totally unambiguous as to its stance in 2014. It will fight to maintain Crimea even if it means nuclear war.

Balance Of Power In The Black Sea: Will The Montreux Convention Prevail?

Russia has been slowly modernizing the Black Sea Fleet. The Admiral Makarov pictured above is one of three Project 11356 FFGs commissioned and stationed there in the past few years.

Turkey would wait and gauge the NATO response to any Russian reaction to Kiev’s escalation. If NATO moved forcefully and resolutely, Turkey would likely maintain the status quo and honor its responsibilities under the Montreux Convention up until such point that either NATO or Russia gains a clear advantage. Turkey is a NATO member and is bound by the treaty; however, Ukraine is not a member, and thus Turkey has no obligation under Article 5 to defend it, especially if Ukraine initiates hostilities. A propaganda war facilitated by western corporate media would be used to frame any conflict as a case of a Russian invasion to allow for NATO to initiate a conflict to defend a non-member state. If NATO gained a clear advantage, Turkey would align itself unequivocally with the military bloc, declare Russia a belligerent party to Turkey and bar all Russian naval and maritime traffic in the Straits as per the mechanisms available in the Montreux Convention. Turkey would cut off the major supply route from Russia to its forces stationed in Syria and would likely escalate the military situation in Syria in conjunction with NATO. This would only lead to a much wider conflict.

If Russia were to gain an early and clear advantage, Turkey would most likely remain “neutral” and maintain the status quo regarding the Montreux Convention; however, it would likely engage in covert warfare against Russia in both the Crimea and Syria via its proxies in both regions to take advantage of Russia’s immediate focus on Ukraine. It could also reignite the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict. Its commitment to proxy warfare would be gauged by the pace and level of any Russian military success. Even in the case of an overwhelming victory on the part of Russia, I see little likelihood of Turkey abandoning the Montreux Convention and the adoption of a more favorable transit agreement with Russia. In regard to controlling this strategically important maritime bottleneck, Turkey holds all the cards. Russia has been keenly aware of this reality since the agreement was ratified in 1936. Alongside its desire to maintain an advantage in the natural gas trade to Europe, it is also for this reason that Russia has invested so much in stabilizing Syria and defeating Western/Saudi/Gulf Emirate efforts to eliminate Russia’s most viable naval base of operations in the Mediterranean Sea in Tartus, Syria.

The Future of the Montreux Convention

There is very little chance of a major change in the status of the Montreux Convention in the immediate future. The greater possibility is that an open conflict between Russia and Ukraine would be the catalyst for Turkey and NATO to use the agreement to weaken Russia’s position in Syria, where it would be of greatest effect. Erdogan has been very measured in his public statements regarding possible hostilities in Ukraine. While hosting an official state visit with President Zelensky and voicing support for Ukraine’s sovereignty (including Crimea), he has also voiced his support for the Minsk Agreement as the mechanism to resolve the issue; however, public statements are often quite different than the discussions that take place behind closed doors.

The Montreux Convention was perhaps the greatest political victory for Turkey in the past century, and President Erdogan undoubtedly grasps this reality. If the Istanbul Canal project ever actually breaks ground, it is a winning proposition for Turkey economically, although there are several ecological and civic planning concerns that pose a major challenge to the project. Such a project, if successful will bring all the economic benefits that both the Panama and Suez Canals have provided for Panama and Egypt. Although there is a natural, navigable waterway connecting the Black Sea to the Mediterranean, this waterway is constricted and limited in the traffic volume that it can handle.  If a man-made canal can significantly reduce voyage transit time, shippers stand to save significant amounts of money by utilizing it. The time saved equates to fuel savings, possible reduction of overtime labor costs in the next port of call or may determine if a vessel operator meets the contractual terms of a charter party. Russia aims to leverage the same advantages in promoting its own Northern Sea Route.

Balance Of Power In The Black Sea: Will The Montreux Convention Prevail?

If Turkey ever completes the proposed Istanbul Canal it would alleviate some of the maritime traffic congestion in the Bosporus Strait and provide a large amount of revenue for the state.

 With or without the proposition of the Istanbul Canal, the Montreux Convention is a major strategic advantage for Turkey and the NATO Alliance, as long as Turkey remains a member state. For Russia it is a double-edged sword. Assuming Turkey remains an ally or a neutral party, it severely limits the ability of any foreign power to introduce a viable naval threat to the Black Sea and Russia’s vital national interests in the region. In any scenario where Turkey becomes an active belligerent in any hypothetical conflict, Russia is forced to take decisive and overwhelming action to rest control of these navigable waterways from Turkey or else surrender its access to the Mediterranean. Turkey, Russia and NATO all clearly understand this strategic reality, and have been rational and logical enough to accept it. By so limiting the available options for naval escalation, the Montreux Convention continues to provide stability and ensure a naval balance of power in the region.


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Kenny Jones ™

Time for Constantinople then


It will be liberated once again.
This time from fake Muslim like Erdo.

johnny rotten

When the sh+it will hit the fan Turkey will know where to position itself:

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Fair treatment

Turkey is playing with fire. Usually if you play with fire you get burned. In special that stupid and dumb president of Turkey Erdogan. They ban Cryptocurrency how Dumb can you be…It is unbelievable stupid that Erdogan. He dosent know how economics works. Low rate brings high inflation but for him is the opposite..he fired central bank governor for increasing the borrowing rate to stop inflation..Amazing intellectualism from Erdogan..Now his currency is going to go to hell..
He will definitely become unpopular in his country, I believe that this presidency is his last and for his political party will be the last one as well.
Dump as a 🐖 Erdogan


i am no fan of erdogone but-
if you want to stop capital outflows you stop cryto.

The Objective

Your frustration will only continue to grow.
If Turkey ever decides to close the Bosphorus to Russia, it’ll be suicidal for Russian naval forces to try to open it forcefully.
Turkey’s burgeoning missile program ain’t for nothing. It’ll turn the seas into a graveyard for any hostile navy.
And about Turkey’s economy, thanks for your concern, but Erdogan was the guy who lifter the Turkish lira from about 8 to the dollar to just 2 to a the dollar. And all this happens within 2003 to 2014.
Real and lasting economic growth doesn’t come about through high interest rates. High interest rates allow Western money lenders to plunder Turkey.
By the way, what’s the interest rate in Russia?

Ricky Miller

While I’m impressed with Turkey’s progress in Naval programs and munitions, the Turkish Navy is still heavily outgunned by all major Naval powers, including Russia. The missile salvoes from Russia’s ships and submarines will sink your Navy at ranges before the Turkish Navy is able to respond. Really, one 949A could seriously weaken the Turkish Naval groupings in the Mediterranean and Aegean basins. In the Black Sea the Turkish Navy would face Tu-22 bombers armed with KH-32 missiles. Several dozen of these missiles and the Turkish Navy will cease to exist in any serious form Northward of the straits. Not saying so to hurt your feelings or put Turkey’s Navy down, it’s just a military fact.

Russia wouldn’t try and force the straits if closed. The BSF and Russia’s Aerospace Forces would fire on any ship transiting into the Black Sea though. In an emergency say, the BSF must get through for purposes of national survival or the lives of Russians are at stake by the thousands, for example in Syria, they just threaten to use tactical nuclear weapons to clear the way. Literally, a beaten United States withdrawing from Europe and Russia won’t even have to say it; your country just tells a transiting BSF to enjoy their trip.

The Objective

“your country just tells a transiting BSF to enjoy their trip” And you imagine the Turkish military won’t foresee this before taking such a drastic move?
There are three factors preventing a nuclear armed Turkey today:
1) U.S nuclear weapons in Turkey nagates any case Turkey can make for a nuclear weapon. But this will change as soon as the U.S decides to remove its nukes. They put those nukes to prevent Turkey (a Muslim country) from having a excuse to build its own nukes.
2)It’s still unclear whether Iran is nuclear armed. But should it become a fact that Iran is nuclear armed, no amount of sanctions will prevent a nuclear armed Turkey.
3)Russia has not yet “sufficiently” threatened Turkey. In the event of a conflict between Russia and Turkey in Syria, and especially if Russia launched attacks on Turkish soil and NATO refuses to get involve (in a meaningful way), you can bet your last buck that Turkey will go after nukes and test one in less than a decade.

There’s another way Turkey can get nuclear weapons without all the above situations. It has to first shield its economy from Western sanctions (which are the only deterrent against a Turkish nuclear program right now). Diversifying the economy to emerging markets like Libya, Qatar, Somalia, and other countries who’ll ignore any Western sanctions targeting Turkey is an obvious first step. Erdogan is already doing this. Turkey’s exports to Europe has reduced by nearly 50% not because of sanctions but because Erdogan in moving the economy towards a different direction (Asia and Africa).
The other thing is to create an attractive business environment for international investors to enter Turkey. Once there is sufficient international businesses in Turkey, sanctions will make very little impact. Erdogan is also working towards this end, which is why he is insisting on low interest rates. Erdogan doesn’t want to attract “money lenders”. He wants to attract investors who’ll come with their capital or borrow at low interests from within Turkey. Only “money lenders” benefit from high interest rates. every other person loses.
The third thing would be to make Turkey self-sufficient in producing “all” of what it needs for Turks to live happily even under heavy sanctions. Example includes medicine and medical facilities, energy, telecom, and transportation infrastructure and facilities, food, and others. Iranians were dying of cancer due to sanctions. Erdogan foresees such a situation, which is why he’s about to create a presidency for the medical sector just like he did for the defense sector.
Your talks about missiles hitting the Turkish navy from far fails to consider that Turkey doesn’t need to use its navy to effectively close the Bosphorus. Medium to long-range precision missiles will turn a 2500 km radius into a graveyard for any unwelcome ship. This is the very reason why the U.S is averse to attacking Iran in the Persian gulf. The entire shores of the Bosphorus will stacked full of these missiles when the time comes.
Canal Istanbul is also a pretty powerful card for Turkey if that project is realized (which is almost certain now). That is what Iran did to the Persian gulf against a much more formidable foe than Russia. Russia’s long-range bombers are NOT stealthy despite claims to the contrary. Stealth is not a Russian strong point. Not to mention Russia doesn’t have bases like Diego Garcia and its air force CANNOT sustain operations from extended ranges like the U.S can (aerial refueling fleet, strategic bases in Diego Garcia, Europe and the Middle East, aircraf carriers and carrier-based long-range bombers). Russia lacks all these capabilities and you expect them to be able to open the Bosphorus?
Russia’s only advantage right now is some longer-range missiles and nukes. But those missiles cannot open the Bosphorus as they can’t take out missiles hidden deep underground. Only bombs like the MOP can have a chance at succeeding, and Russia has no MOPs. And regarding nuclear weapons, as soon as Turkey develops a nuclear program (which will be very easily shipped from Pakistan), Russia can no longer play the nuclear card.
Christian countries tend to think that nuclear weapons is a “monopoly” of theirs. But their decline in terms of economy and technology gap is evident today. I’ll give you maximum 15 years and Turkey will be a world power to contend with. In terms of economy, they will surpass Russia within the next decade should foreign companies continue investing in Turkey they way they are doing now or even more. What has Russia got if not oil and weapons tech (which has become questionable lately as countries like are pulling out of joint weapons programs with Russia and even changing their minds about buying certain Russian weapons)
Just like the U.S.A weakened the U.S.S.R, over time, it’ll also weaken Russia.
And if the monarchies and dictators in the Arab lands fall (which is very likely) things even gets better for Turkey. For example, just last two weeks or so, Dbeibah signed agreements with Turkey that worth billions of dollars for Turkish businesses. Qatar and Libya are both drowning in oil. Turkey itself has huge oil deposit, which means the Turkish economy will never starve for energy resources. There’s also Iran nearby, which will be happy to supply oil at reduced cost to Turkey because it benefits Iran too.
In a Nutshell:

Ricky Miller

No need for the novelized version. And no country has 2500 km range anti-ship missiles. That’s an exaggeration squared. And I agree, the world is dangerous enough that Turkey should have it’s own nuclear weapons program. But even if and when, your country would still be decades behind the major powers in ICBM technology and in building and operating SSBN’s. Right now, Turkey’s a decade behind North Korea and three decades behind Israel. Russia and it’s nuclear capability is two leagues above Israel. All this talk is nonsense. Be proud of your country, sure. But if your Navy and Air Force could take on Russia you wouldn’t need to continue to bear the indignities of depending on NATO.

The Objective

First off, Turkey is not my country, but I love it more than I love my country. There’s hope that the fire to liberate Islam will most likely be kindled from Turkey (I’m not sure about this, but it’s very possible). That is the primary basis of my support for Turkey.

I didn’t say 2500 km anti-ship missiles. Have you wondered how Iran managed to deter America from approaching Iranian shores within a distance of 1500 – 2000 km? The Iranians didn’t do that through “anti-ship” missiles. Instead, they adapted “land-based” ballistic and cruise missiles for the job. This requires a higher accuracy, but they seem to have made progress in this regard. Iran’s goal is likely to field missiles that out-range U.S carrier based war planes just like China has done. And I’ll say it’s not beyond Iran’s reach to achieve that.

Turkey does a better job than Iran when it comes to precision technology. Turkey had its 1500 km missile when Iran was still below the 1000 km range. Many of you are unaware because Turkey hardly ever releases information regarding its missile program, but Erdogan gave the order for a missile program since 2011 with the goal to achieve a 2500 km missile by 2013. Nothing is heard of that program since, but it never ended.

Turkey doesn’t have to compete with Russia, or Israel or America etc. We Muslims don’t want to compete. We want to defend ourselves and our religion and all we need is the means to do so. Turkey won’t try to build 8000 nukes because Russia has 8000 nukes. Just 100 – 300 nukes will be enough to bring Russian aggressor back to their senses.

A powerful Turkey won’t look for a fight with Russia or Israel or Europe. A powerful Turkey will help other Muslim countries achieve stability, power, and progress. And it’ll be willing to defend those countries with military force like it’s doing in Libya.

I think there’ll be NO nuclear war ever. The stakes are just too high for any leader to even contemplate it. Unless one side goes totally mad or terrorists get access to nukes, we can relax about any nuclear war.
We’ll only see more conventional proxy wars between countries and more economic wars.

Ricky Miller

In almost no scenario would 100-300 atomic weapons be enough to deter an attack if the attacking nuclear power thought they had no choice, or if their national leadership was insane and aggressive; think Bolsanaro Brazil with a nuclear arsenal. Any atomic arsenal can be overwhelmed and destroyed in a first strike, which is why large nuclear powers all have SSBN’s. But I do hope you’re right that we never find out.

I agree with many of your sentiments about Turkey. In college I was always the debate side organized to argue Turkish positions on issues such as Northern Cyprus and EU accession. I have often brainstormed simulated scenarios of alternate history whereby the Ottoman Empire survived into modern times and was both a nuclear power and a permanent UNSC member. All of those simulated geopolitical realities led to the continuation of a multipolar world, even after 1991. Half of them (2 out of 4) led to a full Cold War circa 1995-2020 between the Muslim World and the secular, decadent NeoLiberal West.

One thing is sure. Turkey is growing stronger and that’s just a fact, full stop. Something else I know for sure, even outside of alternate history conjectures: Tens of millions of people across the Middle East would be living better lives today were they still part of a greater Turkish State, Ottoman or Republican. Muslim Natives of Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Iraq either rebelled against Turkish rule in 1917 or aided the British invasion of the region, and many more simply stood apart and failed to assist the Sultan’s Armies and agents. In return, what did they earn? The Palestinians have had billions of dollars worth of property and land stolen from them, and they live in a series of open air prisons or zoos. Jordan and her people have fared the best, with some humiliations, but Lebanon has suffered invasion, partial occupation, loss of agency, and societal breakdown. Iraq has been attacked and invaded multiple times, and occupied by the United States, which ushered in an era which saw a million Iraqi deaths. Syria is now living a similiar fate, just strong enough to avoid complete occupation and collapse but the war and it’s consequences have brought about just dreadful conditions and circumstances, including a huge death toll.

Go back in time and all these people and their grandchildren would be far better off inside a Turkish state, and would enjoy protection, safety, and a better economic life. Talk about an epic mistake.

The Objective

Great comment, but I’ll disagree on one thing: Your claim about 100 – 300 nukes not enough deterrent is unrealistic. It seems you don’t appreciate how much Westerners and Russians value their lives. The problem with a nuclear decapitation first strike is that it’s very risky. One nuke left destroyed and millions could die. No politician, including Putin, can gamble on that. North Korea slapped some sense into America by simply owning a handful of nukes. I’m sure if Ukraine had just 10 nukes, Russia won’t ever try invading the country or even amass over 80,000 troops on the border (imagine the casualties one nuclear strike can cause among those 80,000). But now the invasion of Ukraine or at least the annexation of more land is almost a certainty. I don’t think this Russian military buildup is just for deterrence or show of force. Can’t say I blame Russia much on this current problem. They see any Western influence in Ukraine as a national security risk for Russia (and I think they are right, especially with people like Biden/Obama who love to destabilize countries from within without risking the lives of U.S soldiers. I do pray that one day such instability reaches the U.S itself).

Turkish leaders (both military and civilians) appear to be a lot smarter than their Arab counterparts. The Arab public hate them, which is why monarchies and dictators seem very paranoid and shows an unhealthy fear for any kind of opposition no matter how peaceful. The one strategic mistake Russia is making is siding with these dictators and monarchies which will one day have to yield to public pressure. How then will any resulting democratic Muslim countries like Libya ever trust Russia or take them as a friendly nation. In Libya today, it’ll be extremely hard for Russia to enjoy any positive relationship with the current or any future elected Libyan government. That’s because Russia took the wrong side in a war that doesn’t even threaten Russia in any way (a blind war actually). I’m waiting to see what Russia will do in Egypt when Sisi’s regime comes under rebel attack most likely from the Western deserts of Egypt (this is not a question of if but when). When instability reaches Egypt, then Saudi and U.A.E become very vulnerable. Again Putin is siding with the Western-backed oppressors instead of the oppressed masses. This is why I consider Russia the biggest enemy of the Muslim world after America.

Lone Ranger

Russia will send a few hundred cruise missiles before it send any ships in that case.
They will sail through turkish ashes…

cechas vodobenikov

Hollywood freak—-“if if if”
u believe turkis leadership as stupefied as you?
Toork economy dying
…Russia economy 4% growth 2021 (IMF)

The Objective

Massive sanctions just hit the Kremlin days ago. I think you should take a look.
On the other hand, one Chinese company is investing $10 billion in Turkey over the next 10 years. This came just few days after Erdogan sacked the Central Bank boss. More are in cue to start building factories and plants.
Russia is a backward economy, which is why the Chinese investors avoid Russia’s economy like the plague. Check the best places for investment in the world and look at Russia’s position. It’ll only get worse as they engage in more blind wars.

Ricky Miller

What massive sanctions? Yawn. Very few Americans buy Russian debt, and Russia doesn’t issue very many bond sales anyway. Most of Russia’s economy is autarkic, and self-reliant. Chinese investors don’t avoid Russia, they go where returns on investment are larger and sexier. Russia’s economy is growing and stable and…real. Those sexy western returns for Chinese investors are bubbles, and most Chinese know it. But as long as they can keep making bank off of flimsy Western instruments they’ll do so as long as the cash streams keep flowing. I wouldn’t read more into it than what it actually represents.

What blind wars? Russia isn’t engaged in any mindless conflict, or in any conflict outside it’s area of interests and in no way any conflict that bleeds strength or capability. That’s the Western powers.

Rhodium 10

NATO&Turkey know some things : 1º Oil and gas pipelines that supply Turkey are under Russian control…as easy to cut Turkstream&Bluestream and take control of the pipelines in Georgia (TNP)….and block Ceyhan. 2º Russia supply its troops through Iran-Irak. 3º China is the main supplier of Russia ( can use artic route, airspace and railways)..4º NATO warships inside Black sea are sitting Ducks….they will face constant antiship cruise missile attack launched from Subs, Ships, ground base, and Aviation!….bad business for Turkey and NATO.


and YOUR screenname..RHODIUM indicated…how much POWER RUSSIA has…one of only a handful…and the largest among them…holding the MOST RARE METAL…

PUTIN once “message” by showing him holding PALLADIUM….very rare..and much more expensive than GOLD and platinum….behind that “message” : ”’WE HAVE RHODIUM”.

Raptar Driver

Of course this treaty will not hold.
You cannot expect those who are not agreement capable to fulfill their obligations.


“Apparently the Russian government has not quite 100% figured this out.”
care to elaborate on this opinion of yours?

Raptar Driver

Sure anytime my friend.
The Russians are still holding agreements with their “Partners” and future invaders.
They know this is folly and yet they continue to do it.


Can you give me an idea of what some of these agreements that you allude to really are? Just a couple will do. :)

John Brown

China changes everyihng Turkeys economic future is with the Russia China block not the rapidly declining Zio empire and its failing USSA economic and military muscle. Its about the money


IN the case RUSSIA has to choose TAKING bosporus and dardanelles and controlling MARMARA sea….basically …OR ABANDONING its power balance needs towards the west…

it would need to rely on a COMPLETE ASIANISM…the major part of EUR asia…anyway…

let us remember that in this global game of control over EUR ASIA…IT IS THE ASIA part which is the REAL prize…not the SMALL peripheral EURO..part of it…

russia china can decide to BY PASS ALL of the “west” in INTEGRATING ASIA…WITH AFRICA…

result..? the west…turkey along with it..will just flounder anyway…
if necessart…this RUSSIA CHINA IRAN…trio linking ASIA..WITH AFRICA (middle east is included) can easily afford to BUILD NEW CANALS..such as the proposed one from CASPIAN (and it s enormous potential central asia)..with indian ocean straight to africa..which CERTAINLY have increasing GOOD relations with RUSSIA AND CHINA…

again..who are PERIPHERIES in that scenario? europe and turkey…from its ALL ADVANTAGED position due to canals…

REMOVE that power..by sheer EXCLUSION along with europe…(and send it back to the bronze age) FROM the gigantic “ASIAN AFRICAN SOUTH AMERICAN” SILK ROADS…

6 BILLION people and almost 90 percent of the worlds landmass and resources..

what s TINY EUROPE OR TURKY gonna do?

John Brown

You are right in economic terms but not in military terms.

No offence but appear to be one of these people who can’t understand or comprehend evil / bad people and what they can or will do.

Russia can’t allow the racist supremacist global Jewish satanic slave empire dictatorship to get into a position where they think they can launch a nuclear first strike until both Russia and China deploy nuclear weapons into earth or lunar orbit for assured second strike.

Once lines are crossed anything becomes possible.

If the empire escelates war in Ukraine countries like Turkey if they are stupid will cease to exist. If Russian territory is attacked expect every NATO base in Europe and USSA military base in the USSA to be destroyed with conventional weapons first and then cities if it goes nuclear.

All of this can be avoided by placing several massive nuclear weapons on Syrian Israeli border so large that even if they are destroyed on the ground the capitlal of the empire Israel will be destroyed. Racist supremacist Jews are happy to fight to the last of their as Henry Kissenger said stupid animal beast American slave soldiers.

Tommy Jensen

Count of stupidity. It is at present the overwhelming force of the world.
But I think Russia and China can handle it, only it will take a long bad mess in the countries not allocated to the triangle.

Raptar Driver

I’m with Peter the great
Never trust a Turk!

Tom Van Meurs

Good point. There is much more than just militairy power to consider.

John Brown

Yes politics follows the economy. Money determines politics.
The USSA Zio slave empire is losing their money power.

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It is all rather clear. Turkey is
valuable to NATO. Yet, at no point in time was Turkey accorded even minimal respect as an ally. Back in the eighties and nineties, NATO controlled Turkish military regularly toppled and even killed elected politicians that tried to improve Turkey’s lot, Erdogan himself was jailed for anti-Western heresy,

But he learned how to talk Westernese, talk liberal reforms, got elected, build political party and alliances and joined Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

An attempted coup later, numerous attacks on Turkish currency, blocking F-35, and before that, denying Patriot defense system, S-400, Turk Stream, etc. — Turkey found out who is supporting their back.

The amount of commercial projects, trade and infrastructure Turkey is involved in with Russia, China and other Asian nations — is Turkey’s lifeline. West has shown that Turkey is only a tool to be used not respected nor developed.
This boat has sailed.
Now it is time to deal with the problem in neighborhood.

I do not agree with the author on the characterization of events in Syria or Armenian-Azeri conflict. In both cases as well as in Libya, Russia and Turkey accomplished major milestones in resolving long term problems. And results are remarkable.

This is no different. US and UK may believe that Turkey is controllable and will do their bidding. But Turkey has learned Morsi lesson and foes not have its grains import depend on Canada or US.

Times are changing. Old formulas and ways of thinking are gone.

John Brown

Yes I agree with you completely.

The war with Azer and Armenia was approved by Russia and Iran and Russia got to chop the balls of Soros in Armenia by having Russian troops there..

Same for Libya.

Again the same for Syria. They will all move against the Zio empire and its Kurdish stooges when the time is right. Turkey is most threatened by the Kurds not Syria, Iraq or Iran..

Ever since Putin saved Erdogan’s life, his family etc. Erdogan has done very little to harm Russia. He has to make it look good to foll the empire or there would have a been a JNATO invasiona and before the S400s Turkey could not even protect or control its own airspace. Turkey would have been conqured by an invasion by the Zio empire easily.

Now with more S-400s on the way its own drones and with Russian and Chinese military and economic support (especially secure supplies of Russian oil and gas) Turkey will be able to break free of the empire when ever it needs to no matter any trade embargo or military pressure.

As we can see with an almost identical coup planned yesterday by the Zio empire for Luckshenko, to kill his whole family etc. exactly the same circumstances, Putin saving Luckashenko just like Erdogan from Zio Mosaad death squads, I don’t believe Erdogan is dumb enough to trust those who already tried to kill him and his entire family, friends etc. ever again.


“With or without the proposition of the Istanbul Canal, the Montreux Convention is a major strategic advantage for Turkey and the NATO Alliance, as long as Turkey remains a member state. ”

What do you think is sitting at the entrance of the black sea at some unspecified depth?

Where are the underwater sensor located at the entrance of the Black Sea?

What is the range of the land based EW devices RU employs? airborne?

What is the range of the Kalibr anti-ship missile?

Article is long on regurgitated words and short on substance

Laurent Parodi

Russia covers the entire black sea with its P800 oniks ASM and Kalibrs cruise missiles. Any warship in the black sea will be sunk in minutes. Nothing will change the fact that in the black sea Russia has full escalation dominance.

Laurent Parodi

The royal navy will send a type 23 frigate and a type 45 destroyer in the black sea to support ukraine. Russophobia in the UK is too strong it seems.


russophobia is centuries old …it s primary preacher in the atlantic being BRITTANIA…

Tommy Jensen

50% of the Brits have now got two shots of the Usury Vaccine.

Ricky Miller

The convention will hold, even after the canal is built. The reason? Turkey knows that the United States, the U.K. and France are more of a threat to Turkey than Russia is. The 2016 coup proved one thing in Ankara: Western leaders can’t be trusted to respect Turkey, or her interests. The Western Allies view the Turks as useful NATO cannon fodder but they didn’t and don’t want the country in the EU, and spent the better part of a decade denying Turkey a Patriot purchase.

American, British and French Aircraft Carriers in the Black Sea? That represents a Northern threat to Anatolian airspace, which Turkey has already felt the need to shore up with S-400 purchases. Russia always has a vast strategic arsenal and strategic depth to fall back on, and has more than 50 S-400 battalions, and more than 100 S-300 units. Throw in Buk, TOR, Pantsir, SOSNA’s, the S-350 and Russia has between 12,000-15,000 Surface to Air Missiles ready to launch now, with reloads for each missile canister.

What’s Turkey got, to face down an American threat to Turkish airspace from both North and South? Not 100+ strategic ABM evading MIRV’ed ICBM’s. No MIG-31BSM high speed, high altitude Interceptors. Not a single small tactical yield anti-ship missile or depth charge. No SSBN’s out on patrol in the dark depths of the World Ocean. Turkey’s vulnerable, realitive to Russia. With the Montreux Convention Turkey doesn’t even have to face peer pressure or hazing from Washington in order to block major American or British Naval operations in the Black Sea. They have Treaty protection before the conversation even starts. They aren’t going to give that up, from my point of view.

big lebowski

“spent the better part of a decade denying Turkey a Patriot purchase.”
Wrong, Patriot were offered from day 1.
But Turkey insisted on technology transfer.

It’s odd, they didn’t insist on tech transfer re:C-400 …

“What’s Turkey got, to face down an American threat to Turkish airspace from both North and South?”

Comedy gold. This is like that Turkish joker who acts as Erdo’s press lapdog claiming that “Greece is trying to surround Turkey” 😂😂

Nobody gives a flying duck about the Anatolian highlands.

But Turkey is occupying territory in Iraq, Syria and Cyprus and has troops in Libya, Somalia and other regions in Africa.

klove and light

This discussion is flawed from starters.
It was treacherous zionist pig putin who put russia in this weak position with turkey in the first place.

1. eevrybody in the whole universe knows and knew that turkey was ISIS partner from starters…99% of isis fighters came to syria through turkey.this also includes weaponry,intelligence and even chemicals for the false flag attacks then blamed on assad government.

2. putin gave the green light for turkish forces to invade and occupy afrin….this alone is a piece of treachery of immense magnitude when considering that syrian arab republic main enemy was and always will be turkey going back to bashars fathers days and the death penalty for all moslem brothethoods in syria.

3. the written agreement between putin and erdogan on the invasion and occupation of idlib.ridiculous and pathtic and again treachery of immense magnitiute on the part of putin.

alone with these two actions, zionist pig putin made sure, that turkey becomes stronger and syria weaker.
but it gets even more sicker.

4. the written agreement between putin and erdogan on north east syria, and the invasion and occupation of that part of syrian land.

again, making turkey stronger and stronger.

episode backstabbing 1.
and if one considers that evil (typical for zionism) backstabbing, of a russian SU-24 getting blown out of the air in syrian airspace by turkish F-16 in 2015……and in the rescue mission again a russian soldier was killed…..the pilots dead body was mutilated by turkish islamist scum.

Due to that murder, the HONOURABLE russian defense minister sergy shoygu sent the S-400 to Khmeimim airbase.

say ty to treacherous zionist pig putin for making turkey stronger and stronger and stronger.

putin is a treacherous zionist pig. he is doing as ordered to fullfill the long awaited dream of britsh zionism.
a one world government with jerusalem as its capital under satanic britsh zionist leadership.

cechas vodobenikov

cloven hoof diseased racist needs more CIA pesos—writes bad satire at SF


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THIS IS THE SOLUTION ..the railway / road connection Burgas-Alexandroupolis becomes imperative … Greece-Bulgaria can connect the Aegean with the Black Sea with multiple benefits for both but also for international trade and security ..We do not know if and for how long the status of the Straits will remain as it is … the plan to create a new canal could upset the data there and cause a huge upset … the ship can unload in Alexandroupolis and then by train all the way up.

big lebowski

The Aegean-Vardar-Morava-Danube canal would be even better:

Brother Ma

I read another article and it said a canal should be built here as well, not touching Turk territory at all. Solely in Greece and Bulgaria.

klove and light
klove and light
klove and light
klove and light
klove and light
klove and light

“Putin”, Zakharchenko, Plotnitsky are not only traitors but also assassins:from commander Bednov and mayor Ishchenko to militias
“Putin” is a treasonous illuminati agent destroying Russia from within.
He was ordered to send chechen mercenaries to Donetsk and Lugansk to suppress the revolt and murder the KEY real rebel commanders.

“Putin”, Zakharchenko, Plotnitsky are not only traitors but also assassins
Three types of killings:
– direct hits by death squads, from rebel commanders to city mayors.
– direct hits under the cover of “friendly fire”.
– the large majority by intelligence passed to Kiev nazis about where and when to strike the freedom fighters.

Rebel commanders murdered
Igor Bezler, Nov 4, 2014:
One of the heroes who achieved the apparently impossible mission of defending surrounded Gorlivka, under daily shellings after the Sept 2014 Minsk “truce”.

Colonel Alexander Bednov and his “Batmen” unit, Jan 2, 2015:
Near Georgievka: “Batmen” ambushed with thermobaric shells by chechen killers, infiltrators sent by “Putin”.
“Batmen”, the heroes of several battles in August 2014, were among the liberators of Georgievka, Sept 3, with the nazis in total disarray, just before the agents sent by “Putin” signed the Minsk “ceasefire”.
Georgievka was occupied by the nazis July 20 and used to bomb elderly, women and children of Lugansk.

City Mayors murdered
Vyacheslav Ponomarev, July 2014
Mayor of Slavyansk when and where it all started, first hero murdered by the nazi infiltrators,
Days later, the assassin, Strelkov/Girkin, abandoned the surrounded Slavyansk heroes to the neo-Gestapo.
“Turned off the lights of his convoy” was how he justified to be able to break out of the siege.

Yevgeny Ishchenko, Jan 16, 2015.
Mayor of Pervomaisk, one of the the heroic cities where the tide started to turn.
The nazi failure to take Pervomaisk was KEY for what was a seemingly impossible task even if leaders were not traitors.
In other words: how the Summer 2004 assault that started with overwhelming nazi advantage in weaponry became nazi military in disarray, l3 months later.
Ishchenko denounced the Minsk armistice as invalid, and the LPR and its leader, Igor Plotnitsky, as illegitimate.

Colonel Bednov:
Christmas message from Alexander Bednov, next to his children, days before his assassination.
Video published by who only partly recognizes treason (accuses Lugansk oligarchs but not “Putin”) and only long after it was due (“destruction of project Novorossiya has begun”).
Tribute to Bednov
Sept 4, 2014 – Liberation of Georgievka,

Yevgeny Ishchenko:
Dec 8, 2014: Ishchenko in the rubble of Pervomaisk: “Here is your peace agreement” [English Subtitles]:
Yevgeny Ishchenko said that Alexander Zakharchenko, Donetsk People’s Republic head, and his counterpart in Luhansk, Igor Plotnitsky, should be “ashamed” for dealing with Kiev, whom he said was responsible for civilian deaths.
While determined to continue fighting against Ukraine, Ishchenko, has also threatened to “turn the weapons in the opposite direction” (Novosti Novorossii, December 10, 2014; January 3, 2015).
http://www.jamestown.org/single/?tx_ttnews %5Btt_news%5D=43412
January 17 – Ishchenko murdered – video illustrates the illuminati disinfo, pretending to expose it while using the role of Plonitsky as fake jew to divert from “Putin”.
Funeral – Undoubtedly, one of the most memorable stories of people in Novorossia:

Bezler and Ponomarev:
A fake Bezler stepped on stage in Russia, days after the murder of Igor Bezler:
On the other hand with Ponomarev, impossible to impersonate, the nazi infiltrators just denied his death.

Mariupol false flag for dummies – 5 seconds at a Donetsk funeral it’s all it takes to get the FULL story
Fake rebel Zakharchenko has the leading role to suggest that “the rebels did it”, before once again he halts the liberation of Mariupol

2014 May: Ukraine: Illuminati jokes: Fake jews: Igor vs Igor alias Kolomoisky vs Plotnitsky, where the better pig lookalike is casted on the bad side:
Note added March 25, 2015: Igor Kolomoisky detonates according to the script revealed in advance only by Last Prophet.

Lone Ranger

Ho Shlomo…
Disney called, they want you back…

cechas vodobenikov

kloven hoof and mouth disease treated by CIA

cechas vodobenikov

Black Sea =Russian Lake graveyard for NATO LGBT sailors
M-convention was created before nuclear weapons and the advanced tech that Russia now commands…Russia can destroy toork economy easily merely by restricting 5 billion annual tourism industry—-if Russian tourists boycott turkey it become 4th world…and a barrage of hypersonic will make turkis navy look like Bolivian navy

Dick Von Dast'Ard

Laughable British establishment apparently in an act of lunatic-like gesture politics now sending two RN floating targets for live-firing of Russian hypersonic missile practice.

Tommy Jensen

Exactly what I pointed out. We are there in accordance with the international law of free navigation in International waterways.
Russia’s nervous amateurish hostile behaviour is only because they have bad conscience about their criminal gobbling of Crimea under our nose just after Pentagon had invested $5 billion in the island.

cechas vodobenikov

coward LGBT tomy cry —jealous girl
you village dullard! US spent zero money for Crimea
“the amerikans most admire dare to tell them the most extravagant lies; the men amerikans most despise try to tell them the truth”. HL Menkhen
“amerikans have been liars and braggarts for 3 centuries”. D Boorstin
“Obama’s job is to lie to a nation of liars”. K Laymon
timy CIA lies=tiresome





‘western” GHOULS…..

Brother Ma

Both even look like bloodsucking vampires.

dieter heymann

The planned canal also opens a track for Turkey to demand that all ship traffic must now go through that canal, that the Bosporus is 100% Turkish territory and that Montreux is no longer valid. A new agreement must be hammered out which gives Turkey more say than Montreux.

Garry Compton

Sure, Turkey can automatically make the Black Sea – the Russian Lake – just see it happen, if the cut throat Turks close the straits down. Everything – Not Russian will be at the bottom of Davy Jones Locker. There , how does that look – Nato, Romania, Bulgaria, Georgia, Ukraine ? Gaz exploration by these snakey countries and OH YO Monsanto/Bayer, Carghil,Dupont, and the other globalists that use that Odecca port to export your multi billion dollar GMOs — – dosvidonya M Fers. Spacibo S F.

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