Montreux Convention

Montreux Convention, 1936, international agreement regarding the Dardanelles. The Turkish request for permission to refortify the Straits zone was favorably received by nations anxious to return to international legality as well as to gain an ally against German and Italian expansion. The former signatories to the Treaty of Lausanne (1923; see Lausanne, Treaty of) together with Yugoslavia and Australia met at Montreux, Switzerland, in 1936 and abolished the International Straits Commission, returning the Straits zone to Turkish military control. Turkey was authorized to close the Straits to warships of all countries when it was at war or threatened by aggression. Merchant ships were to be allowed free passage during peacetime and, except for countries at war with Turkey, during wartime. The Black Sea powers (principally the USSR) were authorized to send their fleets through the Straits into the Mediterranean in peacetime. The convention was ratified by Turkey, Great Britain, France, the USSR, Bulgaria, Greece, Germany, and Yugoslavia, and—with reservations—by Japan.

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