X
X

Turkey’s Black Sea Policy: Navigating Between Russia and the West

A Eurasianet partner post from FPRI

“[Istanbul] holds an absolute dominion over the Black Sea. By one door only, namely by the Bosporus, it shuts up its communication with any other part of the world; for no ship can pass this sea, if the port thinks it fit to dispute its passage. . . . For this reason all foreign nations, if they want to entitle themselves to any prosperity in the immense wealth of the Black Sea, and all seaport and island towns, are obliged to court the friendship of this city.”
 
So wrote Pierre Gilles, French Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, in 1561, a little more than a century after the Ottoman conquest of Istanbul. His comments remain true today as Turkey maneuvers between other NATO members and Russia to defend its interests in the Black Sea region. In Gilles’ time, the Ottoman Empire was at the zenith of its power, launching powerful raids onto three continents and channeling great wealth between the East and the West. Ottoman admirals like Piri Reis and Barbarossa Hayreddin Pasha were masters of the seas.
 

To read the full story

Selim Koru is an analyst at the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV).

A Eurasianet partner post from FPRI

Turkey’s Black Sea Policy: Navigating Between Russia and the West

1 / 1
X
> <