740.0011 European War 1939/8752: Telegram

The Ambassador in Turkey (MacMurray) to the Secretary of State

51. Availing itself of article 6 of the Montreux Convention29 (without considering it necessary to issue any declaration that it considered itself threatened) the Turkish Government had the Istanbul port authorities issue on February 25 a notification making pilotage compulsory in the Straits.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs today informed me that this action had been taken because of the decision to place barriers against submarines in both the Bosporus and the Dardanelles.
When I commented that Russia might be somewhat sensitive about any restrictions upon traffic through the Straits he rather sharply answered that Turkey does not have to consider Russian or other sensibilities in making provision for her own safety. To my query whether the matter had been taken up in any way with the Russians in advance he replied negatively and added that to do so would have implied that this Government was seeking permission for such action.
  1. Convention regarding the regime of the Straits, signed at Montreux, July 20, 1936, League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. clxxiii, p. 213.