Montreux Convention

All Sources -
Updated Media sources (1) About content Print Topic Share Topic
views updated


agreement of 1936 giving turkey sovereignty over the turkish straits.

Under the Treaty of Lausanne (1923), the Turkish Straits (the Dardanelles, the Sea of Marmara, and the Bosporus) were demilitarized and placed under international control. This settlement infringed on Turkish sovereignty, and after repeated demands by Turkey to reform the relevant clauses of the Lausanne agreement, the Montreux Convention was signed on 20 July 1936. Under the terms of the convention, sovereignty of the Straits reverted to Turkey, and the Turks were permitted to remilitarize the Straits as they saw fit. Furthermore, passage of the Straits in times of war was to be restricted to non-belligerents. All of the Lausanne powers endorsed the convention, with the exception of Italy and the addition of the USSR. Britain was represented by Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden. Alarmed by the growing power of Nazi Germany, Eden and the other European signatories felt it expedient to mollify Turkey.


Lenczowski, George. The Middle East in World Affairs, 4th edition. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1980.

Shimoni, Yaacov, and Levine, Evyatar, eds. Political Dictionary of the Middle East in the Twentieth Century, revised edition. New York: Quadrangle/New York Times, 1974.

zachary karabell

views updated

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.