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14 San Diego L. Rev. 681 (1976-1977)
Kiev and the Montreux Convention: The Aircraft Carrier That Became a Cruiser to Squeeze through the Turkish Straits

handle is hein.journals/sanlr14 and id is 691 raw text is: KIEV AND THE MONTREUX CONVENTION:
When I use a word, Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful
tone, it means just what I choose it to mean-neither more nor
The question is, said Alice, whether you can make words mean
so many different things.
The question is, said Humpty Dumpty, which is to be master-
that's all.'
On July 18, 1976, the 40,000-ton Soviet naval vessel Kiev, sporting
a 600-foot flight deck2 and a complement of helicopters and fixed-
wing aircraft,3 steamed into the Mediterranean after completing its
transit of the Turkish Straits.4 The Montreux Convention, which
governs transit of the Turkish Straits, limits the aggregate tonnage
of all foreign naval forces in transit through the Straits to 15,000
tons.5 Only in the case of capital ships6 does it allow Black Sea
powers to exceed this limit.7 Although the Convention's definition
of capital ships includes cruisers, it specifically excludes aircraft
carriers.8 Nevertheless, Istanbul's military port authorities ac-
1. L. CARROLL, THROUGH THE LOOxING-GLAsS 94 (Random House spec.
ed. 1946).
2. JANE'S FIGHTING SHIPS 1975-76, at 551 (J. Moore ed. 1975) [herein-
after cited as JANE's].
3. Av. WEEK & SPACE TECH., Aug. 2, 1976, at 14.
4. N.Y. Times, July 19, 1976, at 4, col. 4.
5. Convention Regarding the R~gime of the Straits, with Annexes and
Protocol, July 20, 1936, art. 14, 173 L.N.T.S. 213, 222-23 [hereinafter cited
as Montreux Convention].
6. Battleships and cruisers are examples of capital ships.
7. Montreux Convention, supra note 5, art. 11.
8. Id. annex IT, pt. B (1). See text accompanying note 113 infra.
April 1977 Vol. 14 No. 3

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