Turkey to hike transit fee through strategic waterways

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The Turkish government has raised the fee for ships passing through the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits, the newspaper Aydinlik reports, citing a ruling by the General Directorate of Maritime Affairs of the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure.

The key waterways are the only way to move cargo between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean.

The fee increase of 8.3% comes into effect on July 1 and is projected to bring Ankara’s annual revenue from the straits to $900 million. Commercial ships will now pay $4.42 per ton.

Under the 1936 Montreux Convention, Türkiye retains the right to charge lighthouse, rescue and medical fees from vessels passing through the Bosphorus and enter

ing and leaving the Dardanelles.

In October, Ankara raised the transit fee through the straits five times, abolishing the currency exchange payment system fixed with a 75% discount in 1983.

At the time of signing the Montreux pact in 1936, the entire calculation was made based on the gold franc, which was equivalent to $0.80, whereas, in October of last year, the franc’s value rose to $4.08.   

In line with the international rights granted to it by the international convention, Turkey has increased the franc’s value, which is determined by the income it receives from the straits.

The Montreux Convention regulates maritime traffic through the Turkish straits and guarantees complete freedom of passage for all civilian vessels during peace. Ankara has a right to shut the narrow Bosphorus and Dardanelles to foreign warships during a conflict and to merchant vessels from countries at war with Türkiye.

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