Turkey kept most shipping traffic through the Dardanelles Strait suspended for a second day because of wildfires in the area, leaving hundreds of vessels unable to move between the Black Sea and part of the Mediterranean Sea.
(Bloomberg) — Turkey kept most shipping traffic through the Dardanelles Strait suspended for a second day because of wildfires in the area, leaving hundreds of vessels unable to move between the Black Sea and part of the Mediterranean Sea.
Authorities briefly allowed ships traveling south to pass through the narrow waterway until 3 a.m. local time on Thursday. The strait was opened to northbound ships at 11 a.m and is expected to remain open until midnight, according to the Coastal Safety Directorate. The passageway remained closed for southbound ships.
Turkey closed the Dardanelles to ships on Wednesday to clear the area for some 38 planes and helicopters fighting nearby forest fires. Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Agriculture Minister Ibrahim Yumakli said the fires have been taken under control.
About 250 vessels were waiting to cross the Dardanelles and Bosphorus straits as of Thursday morning, according to Mustafa Can, chairman of Istanbul-based maritime transport company Transbosphor.
Black Sea freight rates have already moved up by about 10%, Can said by phone. “Two-way traffic should be allowed at night to decrease the number of waiting ships,” he said.
(Updates with new headline, northbound information in second paragraph, minister in third.)
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