The convention was part of a series of agreements in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries that aimed to address the long-standing question of the “strait” of who should control the strategic link between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. In 1923, the Treaty of Lausanne had demilitarized the Dardanelles and opened the strait to full civil and military traffic under the supervision of the International Straits Commission of the League of Nations. The review conference was held on 22 June in Montreux, Switzerland. All Lausanne signatories were represented, with the exception of Italy, which refused to send a delegation as long as sanctions were in place and Britain retained its mutual aid agreements in the Eastern Mediterranean. From the beginning, it was clear that there would be a new convention, that commercial freedom would be guaranteed and that Turkey would have the right to remilitarize the strait; But there have been fundamental differences, particularly between Britain and the continental powers, over Turkey`s right to close the strait. At the beginning of the conference, Turkish Foreign Minister Tevfik Rushdi Aras presented a project that abolished the Strait Commission and definitively placed the area under the full sovereignty of Turkey, with the right to closure. The project guaranteed free trade, but remilita the strait. Non-riparian powers were limited to 14,000 tons of warships in the strait and 28,000 tons in the Black Sea. Submarines and civil and military aircraft were completely excluded from the strait. The Montreux Convention on the Strait Regime is a 1936 agreement that gives Turkey control of the Turkish route (Bosphorus and Dardanellen) and governs the transit of maritime warships.
The Convention guarantees the free passage of civilian ships in peacetime and restricts the passage of naval vessels that are not part of the Black Sea States. Over the years, the terms of the convention have been a source of controversy, particularly over the Soviet Union`s military access to the Mediterranean. Turkey, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union have each put forward their own proposals aimed primarily at protecting their own interests. The British favored pursuing a relatively restrictive approach, while the Turks sought a more liberal regime that reconsidered their own control over the strait, and the Soviets proposed a regime that would guarantee absolute freedom of passage.