Wednesday, April 14, 2021

The New Istanbul Kanal- Montreaux Accord & Belt and Road (Silk Road) Infrastructure Project

  I've been working on this one for a couple of days and had hoped to publish it yesterday. It's a topic that isn't getting any coverage, though it should.

  The Kanal Istanbul is a game changing project being undertaken by Turkey. They have some interesting partners along side them, as you will find out. It's kind of like Gaddafi's greening of the desert- the huge man made water project. The potential to change many outcomes that some parties don't want and others are okay with.

 Turkey is quite obviously okay with the Istanbul Canal- for good reasons. The passage way from the Mediterranean/Aegean to the Black Sea is congested. Always. So the canal can divert some of that traffic and likely bring in extra revenue from  the additional passage/increased traffic that will traverse the new canal (Istanbul Kanal)  will createInteresting too is all this talk about how Russia is very concerned about this... Except Russia really doesn't seem overly concerned, as you will read.  Additionally, China is partnering with Turkey on the construction of this canal. I can think of other parties that would be very opposed to this partnership. Can't you? 

 The Montreaux Convention doesn’t afford Turkey much freedom to decide who passes, or not, through the existing narrow straits. The Istanbul Canal would certainly give Turkey a less restrained hand.

 Last week it was reported that 10 retired admirals were detained. Whatever that actually means? For a letter taking Turkey’s leadership to task in wording that was interpreted as fomenting insurrection. If anyone knows where to find this letter, let me know? It's curious that the letter is not widely available via msm sources.

“Turkey’s approval last month of plans to develop a shipping canal in Istanbul comparable to the Panama or Suez canals has opened up debate about the 1936 Montreux Convention. “

Just my opinion, but, it seems doubtful to me that any real connection can be made between the Montreaux Convention and this new canal. 

The Montreaux Convention already governs the existing waterway  (shown to the left)  and it seems quite likely to me Turkey would leave the convention as is. So what is the problem? Early rumblings lead me to believe that the US doesn’t want this new canal to be built since there will be no accord, that they can use to force US/NATO dominance into Turkey’s waterways.
             

“Turkish officials have reacted angrily to the letter, claiming it appears to be a call for a coup
“Stating one’s thoughts is one thing, preparing a declaration evoking a coup is another,” parliament speaker Mustafa Sentop said on Sunday. 
Coups are a sensitive subject in Turkey since the military, which has long seen itself as the guarantor of the country’s secular constitution, staged three coups between 1960 and 1980. 
There was also an attempted overthrow of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2016, blamed on followers of US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen in the military.
The Montreux Convention ensures the free passage through the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits of civilian vessels in times of both peace and war.
It also regulates the use of the straits by military vessels from non-Black Sea states.”
These retired military men, most probably stalwart NATO types must have wrote one heck of a letter that hinted at something darker? Sadly, I've been unable to find this letter anywhere so if someone can assist that would be great!

If you read the Montreaux Accord which was included in this report:

You'd likely come away with the idea that the accord doesn’t give Turkey a whole lot of control or say over which party is passing or not passing through the waterway. And the US can certainly use the accord to apply pressure to Turkey.

Ersen added that the Biden administration will exert more pressure on Turkey to actively cooperate with NATO in the Black Sea, considering the US president’s personal interest in Ukraine.

“However, if Turkey decides to take action outside the framework of the Montreux Convention, this would inevitably create significant tensions with Russia which could spill over into vital issues like Syria and bilateral economic relations,” he said.
Western media sources are implying Russia will have an issue with the canal. Yet, that's not what the Russians are saying....

Ahval

The project will not cancel the requirements of the Montreux Convention,Sputnik Turkish cited Yerkhov as saying in a interview with Rossiya TV on Tuesday, but new financial requirements or conditions will be presented to the ships that will pass through the new pathway.  

I’ve already agreed with that. The convention applies to an existing waterway, not to a new waterway. Russia understands that as well.

Yerhov stated the canal project and Montreux Convention were naturally linked to each other, albeit indirectly.

“If Canal Istanbul is built, this won’t mean that the Montreux Convention will be annulled. None of the stipulations of the Convention concerning transport through the straits or the war boats capacity arrangements will be changed by it”, he said.
The Montreux Convention will remain in effect, according to the Russian envoy, who said the agreement is an important, “key document” for the security of the Black Sea region. 

Russia, for its part, says Canal Istanbul should in no way affect the Montreux rules. Moscow would consider the project a Turkish matter as long as it does not change the Montreux regime, which not only sets rules for transit through the Bosporus and the Dardanelles, “but also regulates the total tonnage of the ships of coastal and non-coastal states,” Russia’s ambassador to Turkey, Aleksei Erkhov, said in 2019. “The presence of a new artery does not change the regime,” he added. (He's referencing the accord)
 History teaches us that any change in the status of the straits has come at a hefty price. As Russia’s Nezavisimaya Gazeta notes, “With the construction of Canal Istanbul, the situation in the straits will return to 1913. At the time, the Ottoman Empire could, at its discretion, let or not let any foreign ship into the Black Sea. This was one of the reasons for the numerous Russian-Turkish wars.”
  Again with the confusing and fear generating narrative. There is zero reason to think there would be any change in the status of the straitsThe decades old accord will still govern the Bosporous and the Dardanelles. Russia has clearly stated they don’t feel there is a problem. Turkey's obviously okay with the canal creation. The question is which party would not want the canal created? Which party/parties are trying to create a threatening narrative around the Montreaux accord and the waterway which will remain under it's governance?

 Recapping: As of this moment Russia is looking to be on board with the project. Turkey's good to go. And China is also a willing partner with Turkey in the construction of the canal- Hm! 

That's right, China. I'm definitely getting the Belt and Road vibe from this project.

Canal Istanbul, dubbed a “crazy project” by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan when he first unveiled it in 2011, has attracted Chinese interest as part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Chinese companies are now reportedly eyeing the tender for the waterway, estimated to cost more than $9 billion.

Given Turkey’s economic woes, many had assumed that financing problems would snag the project, but the government came up with surprises. Since March 20, Ankara has announced a legal amendment paving the way for Canal Istanbul’s builders to benefit from state guarantees, the approval of development plans for the project and preparations to invite bids from contractors. Finally, Erdogan announced that construction would kick off in the summer. “Canal Istanbul … will be a new windpipe for the region. We will soon launch the tenders in phases and break the ground in the summer,” he said April 7, adding that a city for half a million people would be erected on the banks of the 45-kilometer (28-mile) waterway.

A new windpipe- To breathe new air (spirit) into the region.

What led Erdogan to suddenly speed up the process? A financing offer from China, according to Turkish journalist Jale Ozgenturk. “The sought financial support is coming from China. Ankara is busy working on the issue. There are four proposals at present for the upcoming tender, and all of them are from Chinese companies,” Ozgenturk wrote April 9. “Of course, China will not only finance Canal Istanbul, [but] it will also assume the construction, having giants in the construction sector,” she added.

Are you getting that same belt and road vibe?

Neither, Turkey, Russia or China have been in opposition to the Belt and Road Initiative to my knowledge.  In fact, there has been one party that has always led the opposition to that initiative. So much so they’ve plotted to create a land barrier to these trade routes. That barrier is the Greater Kurdistan project

Go back to 2018: Kurdistan: Impeding the New Silk Road/Rimland Vs Heartland

Yup, boys and girls, three years ago it looked to me as if the creation of Greater Kurdistan was being undertaken to impede the massive belt and road project.

Let's say this is the best case scenario map? Greater Kurdistan aka Israel 2.0 controlled by Usrael and allies. Stretching from the Mediterranean- (we know the Kurds, aided by Usrael, are trying to get to the Mediterranean sea) Through to the Black Sea. The shores of the Caspian. And, to the Persian Gulf.  The pot stirring in Iran will take them to the Caspian. Destabilizing Turkey will take the Usrael/ Kurds to the Black Sea. Breaking up Iraq to the Persian Gulf.
Which featured among many items of interest, this image

As can easily be seen this infrastructure project, as massive as it is, relies on it's Turkish partner.

Which nations would stand in opposition to this initiative? The answer to that question suggests to me, where the opposition to Turkey's project is originating. 

From earlier:

From yesterday: 

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