Turkey squeezes Bosporus straits

Istanbul - Turkey imposed new regulations on the straits of the Bosporus and the Dardanelles, invoking modern safety imperatives to dismiss criticism from Russia, Greece and Black Sea states, writes Hugh Pope.

New shipping lanes will force ships to keep to their side of the channel, 700 metres wide at its narrowest point. Stricter conditions for the passage of vessels over 150 metres long and oil tankers may cause delays. Foreign-flag ships will be encouraged to take on pilots. Turkish ships, which make up half the 130 ships passing daily through the straits, will have to take on and pay for pilots.