Photo: Dr. Jean-Paul Rodrigue, 2013.
The dividing line between Europe and Asia, the link up between the
Mediterranean (Marmara Sea) and the Back Sea, the Bosporus is an ancient valley along
a fractured tectonic line. The strait is entirely within Turkey and
divides Istanbul in two. It is considered an
international shipping lane of free access, but Turkey
reserves rights to close its navigation to other
the independence of Ukraine in 1991, the strait of Bosporus retook a
strategic importance for international trade with the adjacent countries
in the Black Sea, such as Ukraine and Georgia. This trade notably involves
grain and oil. The strait is also intensively used for ferries
across Istanbul, a city of more than 13 million people.
Two suspension bridges (Bosporus and Fatih Sultan
Mehmet) crosses the Bosporus with a third expected to
begin construction in 2013. Since the capacity of
Bosporus is limited and that navigation can be
hazardous, there are projects about digging a canal
across the peninsula.