Erdoğan unilaterally annuls the Montreux Convention and construction of the Istanbul Canal gets under way
Question for written answer E-003372/2021
to the Commission
Ioannis Lagos (NI)
On 26 June 2021 Recep Tayyip Erdoğan laid the foundation stone of the Istanbul Canal, which will connect the Black Sea and the Marmara Sea, and went on to say that the project will take six years to complete.
However, the project circumvents the 1936 Montreux Convention, which established the international status of the Turkish Straits and guarantees the free passage of civilian ships from the six Black Sea States. Turkey’s Minister for Transport stated that the canal would generate an annual revenue of USD 1 billion, which would gradually increase. Under the current regime, Turkey cannot charge a transit fee to merchant ships using the Bosporus. The canal would only generate revenue if shipping companies were to use it, which they will have no reason to do as long as the Bosporus passage remains free. It is clear that this is a unilateral action by Turkey to annul the convention, leaving uncontrollable geopolitical consequences for the region.
In view of the above:
What steps does the Commission intend to take to safeguard the rights of EU Member States that will be violated following this unilateral action by Turkey?