Turkey intends to limit sea traffic at Bosporus Strait: minister

21:39, July 01, 2010      

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Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz Thursday said his country intends to limit sea traffic, especially the number of oil tankers in the Bosporus and Canakkale Straits to reduce oil spill threats.

Heavy traffic at the Turkish straits must be resolved, and new regulations on sea traffic are needed, the minister said at a meeting of oil executives convened to prevent risks of oil spill in the Sea of Marmara and at the Turkish straits.

Yildiz said there are more than 100 million tons of oil and related products passing through the Turkish straits every year and the number continues to grow annually.

Some 1.85 million barrels of oil are transported through the Bosporus and Dardanelles straits every day in the light of a 1936 convention, granting free passage to commercial vessels of all countries. Between 1988 and 2009, there were nearly 300 sea incidents in the Bosporus.

Turkey wants to reduce the risk of oil spill, the minister said, noting that in the next decade oil and natural gas will make up 50 percent of all energy resources.

"We are obligated to leave a clean environment to future generations," he said.

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