Türkiye to become a party to Svalbard Treaty

Türkiye to become a party to Svalbard Treaty

Nuray Babacan- Ankara
Türkiye to become a party to Svalbard Treaty

Türkiye has decided to be included in the Svalbard Treaty, which will enable Turkish citizens to acquire property, residence and fishing rights in the Svalbard (Spitsbergen) archipelago and territorial waters.

The bill, which was signed by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, regarding the treaty has been forwarded to the parliament speaker’s office.

If Türkiye is included in the treaty signed in Paris on Feb. 9, 1920, Turkish companies will be able to operate in the fields of maritime, industry, mining and trade in the Svalbard archipelago and territorial waters which are under the sovereignty of Norway and located only a thousand kilometers from the north pole.

According to the bill, Turkish scientists will have the opportunity to conduct scientific research at the Turkish Science Station to be established.

It was also noted that Turkish students will have the opportunity to study at the University Centre in Svalbard.

There are serious rules and prohibitions regarding acquired rights, according to the authorities.

Particular attention is paid to fulfilling the conditions due to global warming and climate crisis.

Türkiye, which has organized successful scientific expeditions to the Arctic region in recent years, the first of which was in 2017, had established a temporary science base on Horseshoe Island in Antarctica.

Türkiye’s accession to this treaty would further solidify its interest in the Arctic region, according to the experts.

The treaty regards establishing some arrangements for the Svalbard archipelago between Norway, U.S., Denmark, France, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Great Britain, Ireland, British Overseas Territories and Sweden.

In the process of making this decision, which concerns the north, Türkiye was trying to make a profit from the negotiations on the new NATO members Finland and Sweden.

Earlier this week, Russia had accused Norway of imposing restrictions on shipment of essential goods, including food and medical supplies, destined for some settlements on the archipelago populated mainly by Russians, and had threatened unspecified “retaliatory measures” unless Oslo resolves the matter.

“We demanded that the Norwegian side resolve this issue as soon as possible,” Russia’s foreign ministry diplomacy said.

“Norway does not violate the Svalbard Treaty,” replied Anniken Huitfeldt, Norway’s foreign minister. “Norway does not try to put obstacles in the way of supplies to a Russian coal mining settlement in the area.”