8 narrow channels of vital importance

The Bosphorus in Turkey is one of the busiest waterways in the world, linking the Black Sea to the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas and thence to the outside world. All shipping bound for or departing from the Black Sea ports of Contanza and Odessa have to transit this canal


19 miles long and average navigable width of 1 mile. A minimum of 700 meters at its narrowest point.
Abrupt and angular windings, forcing vessels to change course at least 12 times. On some of these sharp turns (e.g. Kanlica), vessels approaching from the opposite direction are not visible.
Under the Treaty of Montreux (1936) application for pilots (guiding local captains) is not obligatory. Russian vessels traditionally do not ask for pilots from the Turkish maritime authorities.
Powerful rapid currents, counter currents, submerged eddies.
Snow, rain, fog reduce visibility below 700 meters.
Two major bridges crossing the waterway.
There are approx. 45,000 vessels going up and down the Bosphorus each year.
There are approx 15,000 ferries, carrying 1.5 million people crossing the Bosphorus EACH DAY, plus thousands of fishing and pleasure craft.

Below are some great photos, taken by Mehmet Yapici from Istanbul (from whom we have received special permission to show them) showing the typical traffic "running the Bosphorus" daily.
Click on any thumbnail to see a larger version of each photo.

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