Turkey Puts Real Teeth in Its Non-Recognition of Russian Annexation of Crimea

July 5, 2014
Bandido, the yacht said to belong to desposed President Yanukovych's son, which has been seen to dock in Turkey in the past.

Staunton, July 5 – The 27 major Turkish ports that normally handle international shipping will not allow any ship to dock if it carries papers declaring that its home port in “Russian Crimea” rather than in Ukraine or has passed through such an occupied port, according to a decision of the Turkish council of ministers on April 30.

Specifically, according to media reports yesterday the Turkish government has directed its port officials not to accept any ship whose papers declare that it is from “Kerch/Russian Federation” rather than from “Kerch/Ukraine.”

While Russia may be able to make an end run around this limitation by falsifying the papers carried by ships it uses in or via Crimea, this Turkish decision will make it more difficult for Russian shipping and represents both the implementation of a clear-cut non-recognition policy and in particular Ankara’s support for the hard-pressed Crimean Tatars.