In what appears to be a further escalation in Turkey’s confrontation with Russia, reports say Russian ships entering the Bosporus Strait from both directions have been held up for hours before being allowed to transit the waterway. The escalation comes in the wake of Turkey downing a Russian aircraft in Syria on Nov. 24. Tensions have become further inflamed after a report by Turkish daily Zaman on Dec. 7 that a Russian warship sailed through the Bosporus on Sunday with a soldier holding a shoulder-fired surface-to-air missile on the deck of the ship. In response, Ankara summoned the Russian ambassador to the Turkish Foreign Ministry.
According to the Montreux Convention of 1936, the Bosporus is an international waterway under the control of Turkey, but there are very limited circumstances in which Turkey can block or even delay ships from passing through the strait. Despite this, Turkey seems to be going out of its way to make transit through the Bosporus more time consuming and, t