The dogged feud between Turkey and Russia is threatening to resurrect an age-old rivalry over access to the Bosphorus and Dardanelles waterways. The Turkish Straits, as Turkey calls them, connect the Black Sea to international waters, and access to them has always been a flashpoint in Turkish-Russian relations.
Rancor between Ankara and Moscow has risen steadily since Turkish military jets shot down a Russian fighter in late November. The most recent incident to fuel mutual ire was the appearance of a photo of a Russian sailor on a warship transiting the Bosphous near Istanbul, shouldering a portable surface-to-air missile.
“Missile tensions on the Bosphorus,” screamed a headline in Turkey’s Taraf newspaper.
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Dorian Jones is a freelance reporter based in Istanbul.